Ht: 6’1 – Wt: 205 – Age: 30
Born: Sao Paulo, Brazil
Fights out of: Sao Paulo, Brazil
Overall Record: 14-3
UFC Record: 5-3
Thiago Silva is one of the most dangerous strikers in the UFC light heavyweight division and has been a perennial contender since entering the UFC. Silva made his mixed martial arts debut in 2005 in his native Brazil. Silva quickly built an 8-0 record on the independent circuit, finishing all, but one of his opponents. Silva traveled to Japan where he knocked out Tatsuya Mizuno in the 1st round before signing with the UFC in 2007. Silva finished his first 4 UFC opponents in brutal fashion, including a co-main event bout with Houston Alexander at UFC 78. Silva seemed to be inching closer to a possible title shot when he faced off against fellow undefeated Brazilian superstar Lyoto Machida at UFC 94. Silva was unable to find his range and was stunningly knocked out by Machida in the final seconds of the 1st round. Silva bounced back from his first career loss with a devastating knockout victory over veteran Keith Jardine at UFC 102, once again positioning himself amongst the elite of the UFC light heavyweight division. Silva squared off against former champion Rashad Evans at UFC 108, and in a close battle of heavy-hitters, Evans used his wrestling and clinch work to earn a unanimous decision victory. Silva would be sidelined for nearly all of 2010 with back injuries before finally making his return at UFC 125 against Brandon Vera. Silva dominated Vera on the ground, routinely putting Vera on his back and punishing him with ground ‘n’ pound. Silva won a one-sided unanimous decision, but the fight result was later overturned after Silva tested positive for illegal substances. Silva would be suspended for the remainder of 2011.
Silva had a tumultuous 2011 as his only fight was later changed to a no-contest.
Silva faced off against fellow striker Brandon Vera at UFC 125. Silva surprisingly took the fight to the ground in the 1st round where he was able to easily control Vera from top position and dominate most of the round. Vera came out with more urgency in the 2nd round as he connected on a few strikes, but Silva soon took Vera back down to the floor and once again controlled the action with his top control and ground ‘n’ pound. The 3rd round started with both men exchanging strikes until Silva scored a takedown and battered Vera with big punches, including a few slaps. Vera’s nose looked to be badly broken as the fight came to a close as Silva was announced the unanimous decision winner.
Silva was set to face Quinton Jackson at UFC 130, but it was soon revealed that Silva had tested positive for illegal substances. Silva would be suspended for the remainder of 2011, while his win over Vera was later changed to a no-contest.
Thiago Silva’s UFC career is in jeopardy coming into 2012. Silva will finally be coming off his suspension and will need to quickly remind the UFC why he is considered one of the most devastating strikers in the division. Silva’s wrestling and ground game look to be rapidly improving, but it will be interesting to see how Silva’s body holds up over the next couple of years. Silva has struggled with back issues and considered moving down to middleweight to put less strain on his back. Silva is a top contender when in peak condition and has solidified himself as one of the most imposing, threatening fighters in the sport. Silva will now have to prove his merits all over again as he makes his return in 2012.
Thiago Silva Fight Record
Overall Record: 14-2
2008-2011 Record: 2-2
2011 Record: 0-0
NC | Brandon Vera | NC | Rd 3 | UFC | 01/01/2011
2010 Record: 0-1
Loss | Rashad Evans | Dec | Rd 3 | UFC | 01/02/2010
2009 Record: 1-1
Win | Keith Jardine | Tko | Rd 1 | UFC | 08/29/2009
Loss | Lyoto Machida | KO | Rd 1 | UFC | 01/31/2009
2008 Record: 1-0
Win | Antonio Mendes | Sub | Rd 1 | UFC | 05/24/2008