‘Fighting Among My Idols’ – Valmir Da Silva Eager To Prove He’s Elite With KO Of Respected Foe Hiroyuki Tetsuka

Valmir Da Silva is declared winner by submission finish at ONE 159

After three appearances in ONE Championship, Brazilian knockout artist Valmir “Junior” Da Silva believes he’s finally found his stride in the world’s largest martial arts organization.

On April 5 in U.S. primetime, the Manaus native will square off with surging contender Hiroyuki “Japanese Beast” Tetsuka in a pivotal welterweight MMA contest at ONE Fight Night 21: Eersel vs. Nicolas on Prime Video.

That matchup will go down at the iconic Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok, Thailand, and it will be Da Silva’s opportunity to take out one of the division’s top talents.

Always humble, the 27-year-old told onefc.com that he holds an immense amount of respect for Tetsuka:

“He’s a guy I admire a lot. I already had watched his fights before I even joined the organization. I feel like a boy fighting among my idols.”

Indeed, “Japanese Beast” has won three in a row and four of five in ONE, firmly establishing himself as a key player in the upper echelon of the welterweight MMA ranks.

Da Silva has carefully analyzed his opponent’s well-rounded yet unorthodox game. He acknowledges that Tetsuka presents a difficult puzzle to solve, particularly when he’s employing his unique, angle-cutting movement on the feet:

“He’s a very skilled striker, an unpredictable guy, and has a lot of weapons in his striking. I’m studying his game, adjusting some things to be able to neutralize his striking. He works a lot on his footwork, and I believe this is his most dangerous weapon in striking.”

Of course, “Junior” is a skilled striker and ruthless finisher in his own right, boasting a 100 percent finishing rate across nine career wins.

He believes this contest will be a game of inches, with both men looking to impose their will in the stand-up department. With that in mind, he aims to put a pace on Tetsuka and become the first man in ONE to finish the Japanese star.

Da Silva said:

“It’s going to be an interesting fight. I believe that whoever can control the distance better will leave with their arms raised, and I believe it will be me.

“I’m going to attack with volume and try to do what no one has been able to do, which is put him down. Let’s put on a show for the fans.”

Despite his foe’s considerable gifts in striking, the Brazilian still expects him to look to bring the fight to the mat once he starts to lose exchanges.

At that point, “Junior” is prepared to keep things standing – where he plans to find the finish and add to his impressive highlight reel:

“I’ll try to defend his takedowns so the fight can progress with striking. I believe this fight won’t go past the second round. I’m going to try to explore knee strikes a lot too.

“The probability is very high that this fight will end in a knockout in the first round or at the beginning of the second round.”

Da Silva Adjusting To The Pressures Of The Global Stage

Valmir Da Silva is confident that his showdown with Hiroyuki Tetsuka will prove he belongs among the best mixed martial artists on the planet.

He arrived at ONE riding four straight knockout wins, widely regarded as one of the most promising rising stars to come out of Brazil in recent years.

But in his promotional debut, “Junior” suffered a tough defeat against former ONE Welterweight MMA World Champion Zebaztian Kadestam.

Looking back, he admits that adjusting to the bright lights of the global stage proved difficult:

“I had really been getting good victories with significant knockouts until my arrival at ONE. In the first fight, I fought a very experienced guy. Of course, we felt that pressure of being on a huge stage like ONE, and he ended up knocking me out.”

The Brazilian has since gone 1-1 and is still finding his footing among the welterweight elite.

He remains undeterred, though, and is sure that his hard work and meticulous preparation will gradually lead him up the divisional ladder, beginning with his battle against “Japanese Beast” at ONE Fight Night 21.

Da Silva added: 

“I’ve been trying to adjust everything, seeing what I’ve done wrong and working on all the flaws. But each fight is a new experience.

“ONE has the greatest fighters in the world, and I’m coming little by little, one brick at a time, to becoming one of them.”

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