Thiago Silva is set to fight Rafael "Feijao" Cavalcante June 8 at UFC on Fuel TV 10 in a bout that ensures a stand-up war.
Both men are strike-first fighters, and with 21 career knockouts between them, my crystal ball tells me somebody is going down early in this fight.
For both Silva and Cavalcante, this fight provides the perfect opportunity to score a clean win over a tough opponent in front of his native Brazilian crowd.
Emphasize the word "clean" in that last sentence, if you would.
On the other hand, Cavalcante has never competed under the UFC banner, but his history is no less checkered.
Both fighters have seen big wins stripped and replaced by no-contests, and the upcoming UFC on Fuel TV 10 fight offers each fighter a chance to redeem himself in the grandest of ways.
In light of the recent cuts by the UFC, one would think Silva, in particular, would be worried about his fate should he lose this battle.
One would be wrong. Very wrong, in fact.
Silva told Sherdog.com that remains calm leading into this bout, and he does not feel his future is in jeopardy.
“Actually, I don’t feel threatened,” said Silva. “I haven’t won in four fights, but the UFC treats me very well, despite the doping. I work very hard and put on a show, because nobody wants to see a lukewarm fight. I’ll avoid making mistakes and will look for the win, as always.”
The way in which Silva casually brushed off his circumstance either implies great ignorance or great confidence. I'm not sure which it is, but things got even weirder as Silva continued the interview and talked training with the Blackzilians.
“It’s a team of stars, but without stardom,” Silva laughed. “Inside the ring, we’re all common people, from the least famous to the most famous. There’s no special treatment. I spar with Overeem, Belfort,Tyrone Spong, Rashad, Anthony Johnson, not to mention the coaches. I have great resources available, and I’m enjoying it.”
I particularly enjoy this quote, "Inside the ring, we're all common people..."
You don't say!
The Blackzilian team has certainly looked "common" lately. Top fighters Alistair Overeem, Rashad Evans, Michael Johnson, Melvin Guillard, Siyar Bahadurzada and Ryan Jimmo all dropped their latest contests inside the Octagon, and Silva will have to overcome Cavalcante's ferocious striking attack to avoid a similar fate.
Win or lose, he guarantees a war.
“I know Rafael personally. He’s a tough fighter, a striker, like me, and we both have heavy hands. I don’t know if I’ll knock him out or submit him, but I want to win. It will be a war."
While UFC on Fuel 10's matchup between Thiago Silva and Rafael "Feijao" Cavalcante does not carry immediate title implications, it provides something perhaps even better: a chance to clean house and start new.
Both fighters badly need a victory, and both fighters need to notch the win without "extra help," if you catch my drift.
Can Silva pull it off, or will Cavalcante wreck his hopes?
Let me know what you think, and we'll discuss the fight.