Anderson “Braddock” Silva has already earned a reputation as an exciting warrior in ONE Super Series kickboxing, and now, he wants to produce a Fight of the Year candidate in mixed martial arts.
The Brazilian didn’t get to showcase his powerful striking under MMA rules against BJJ legend Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida last time out, so he’s eager to deliver nonstop action in a showdown with Paul “King Of The North” Elliott at ONE: ONLY THE BRAVE on Friday, 28 January.
“It’s going to be a beautiful fight to watch,” Silva says ahead of his appearance at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
“Paul is a striker, and so am I. I hope we exchange a lot of punches and kicks, and we have the best fight of the year.”
“Braddock’s” first-round submission defeat to “Buchecha” was his first MMA bout since 2018, and it was also a steep learning curve that showed he can’t simply expect to jump in and compete against elite grapplers.
However, the defeat gave “Braddock” motivation to come back stronger – and he’s been firing on all cylinders to prepare for Elliott.
“The opportunity to return to MMA appeared, and I’m not one to run away from a challenge,” he says. “We knew the fight was all or nothing. If I hit a blow, it would be over fast, and if he put me down, it would be over too.
“My mistake was taking the fight without making a full camp. I didn’t have time to prepare myself to face a fighter like ‘Buchecha.’
“The biggest lesson was [that I should always be] prepared to fight, not just training when there’s a fight scheduled. I paid dearly for that mistake, and since then, I have been training daily, keeping myself active and ready to fight.”
Fans should expect to see development from Silva when he steps back into the Circle.
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The 35-year-old is feeling energized for the battle ahead and can’t wait to display his improved all-around skill set.
“Now I’ve had a complete camp, I feel well-prepared to defend the takedown attempts and to attack according to our strategy,” he says. “I will be a totally different fighter than the fight against ‘Buchecha.’”
However, the Brazilian doesn’t think he’ll have to worry too much about the grappling exchanges in this matchup with the Englishman.
Elliott also comes from a kickboxing background, and he’s finished all four of his opponents to date with strikes in the first round. With that in mind, “Braddock” expects a firefight in the center of the Circle.
“He’s newer to MMA, as I am too. He seems to be strong, but I don’t see much skill in takedowns and jiu-jitsu. So, I don’t believe he’s going to surprise me,” Silva says.
“We both do grappling to defend and not to attack. That’s why I believe the whole fight will take place standing up.
“[Him being a powerful striker] doesn’t intimidate me. In fact, that’s exactly what we want – opponents that fit our style. I believe we are going to have an epic fight.”
The Brazilian doesn’t want to predict a winner, but he can’t see this clash of colossal strikers lasting the full 15 minutes.
“I believe this fight ends before the end of the third round,” he says. “I hope I’m still on my feet at the end because I think one of us is going to be knocked out.”
Meanwhile, a win would help reignite Silva’s mixed martial arts career as he aims to rise toward World Championship success in two sports.
It’s not an easy path, but he has found a fresh desire for challenges under the all-around ruleset, and he plans on taking it as far as he can.
“My goal is to remain among the best in kickboxing and, who knows? I may soon be able to fight for the title. I also want to conquer my space in MMA and show my full potential,” Silva adds.
“I want to pursue both belts and make martial arts history.”