5 Things You Might Not Know About Alex Silva

By: Brian Knapp
Nov 25, 2021

Alex Silva keeps trucking along in One Championship at an age when most professional athletes have at least started to consider doing something else with their time.

The 39-year-old Brazilian will toe the line against Rene Catalan in a three-round One Championship “NextGen 3” strawweight showcase on Nov. 26 at Singapore Indoor Stadium in Kallang, Singapore. Silva enters the cage having recorded three wins across his past five outings. He last appeared at One Championship “Battleground 2,” where he took a unanimous decision from Li Tao Miao on Aug. 21.

As Silva moves ever closer to his forthcoming confrontation with Catalan, here are five things you might not know about him:

1. He bloomed late in MMA.

Well-known in Brazilian jiu-jitsu circles, Silva did not make his mixed martial arts debut until the age of 28. He submitted Suchat Lukamkuha with a rear-naked choke 2:12 into the first round of their encounter under the Dare Fight Sports banner on Sept. 24, 2011.

2. He chose his inner circle wisely.

Silva operates out of the Evolve MMA camp in Singapore owned by One Championship CEO Chatri Sityodtong. Shinya Aoki, Ben Askren, Leandro Issa, Christian Lee, Angela Lee, Roger Gracie and Dejdamrong Sor Amnuaysirichoke are among those who have walked through the gym’s doors.

3. He belongs to exclusive company.

“Little Rock” remains one of only five competitors who have captured the undisputed One Championship strawweight crown. The others? Amnuaysirichoke, Yoshitaka Naito, Joshua Pacio and Yosuke Saruta. Silva laid claim to the 125-pound championship with a five-round unanimous decision over Naito at One Championship “Warriors of the World” on Dec. 9, 2017. However, his reign lasted just 154 days, as he surrendered the title in a split decision loss to Naito in their One Championship “Grit and Glory” rematch on May 12, 2018.

4. Durability has been a building block.

Silva has never been finished in his 16-fight career. All six of his losses have resulted in decisions, three of the split variety. The perpetrators: Naito (twice), Saruta, Pacio, Koha Minowa and Geje Eustaquio. Silva owns a 2-6 record in bouts that reach the judges.

5. He remains true to his roots.

A former Brazilian jiu-jitsu world champion and a third-degree black belt in the discipline, Silva’s prodigious grappling skills have translated quite well to MMA. He has delivered eight of his 10 professional victories by submission. Silva’s methods of choice: five armbars, one rear-naked choke, one kneebar and one arm-triangle choke.
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