Erick Silva may be one of the premiere prospects in the welterweight division, yet the viability of his overall MMA game in the UFC remains a mystery.
His UFC performances have been impressive and one-sided, but we haven’t seen his full range of skills.
In fact, our perception of Silva is very limited: His bouts within the Octagon have lasted a combined one minute. That’s not enough time to assess the nuances of his MMA game.
He was able to quickly vanquish his meager foes with punches—disregarding his gross disqualification loss. We know the magnitude of his punching power, and that’s about it.
How’s his ground game?
His waist dons two belts that may speak to his ground skills: a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and a black belt in Judo. But credentials don’t necessarily equal success in the Octagon.
Charlie Brenneman will be the wrestler to illuminate Silva’s ground work, either in a flattering or ugly light. We’ll see if he can pass the imminent “wrestler test."
Judo practitioners often possess stellar takedown defense. More often than not, Silva has been able to dictate where his fights take place. But amongst the most talented pool of fighters in the world, his takedown defense will be given its most serious test yet.
Since he’s destroyed his sub-par opponents with such haste, his cardio is a mystery too.
Brenneman, a grinding wrestler, figures to test the depth of Silva’s gas tank. The Brazilian juggernaut swings ferociously, seeking instant victory with every punch. That torrid pace might not be sustainable throughout three rounds against a hardened wrestler.
It also remains to be seen if Silva’s striking arsenal is well-rounded. Thus far, he’s exclusively relied on his monstrous punches to sink his foes.
How’s his clinch game? And his kicks?
Silva entered the UFC with gaudy expectations, and he’s lived up to them. But in doing so, he’s used only one aspect of his MMA game—his punches.
His overall prowess remains a mystery to UFC fans.