Prospect in the Spotlight (Jan 29-30): Joshua Silveira

Introduction

Friday, January 29th, American light heavyweight prospect Joshua Silveira will be in action for LFA, where he will be looking to extend his winning streak against Matt Paul. He will be looking for another win, as Silveira looks to continue building his resume to eventually earn a contract with the UFC. He represents American Top Team, a premiere team in MMA. Let’s take a closer look at this prospect as this week’s “Prospect Spotlight.”

Strengths

Rounded Ground Game: First and foremost, Silveira wrestled collegiately at Arizona St., which is a very high-level college program. No matter how he fared at that level, that puts him ahead of most in this game. He has excellent drive on his takedowns and rarely fails on a takedown attempt. He’s heavy from the top and has excellent jiu-jitsu, which should come as no shock seeing as his father is Conan Silveira. He has good transitions and is very good positionally. He has scored MMA wins via rear-naked choke and arm-triangle choke, but something tells me he has more up his sleeve than we’ve seen. This guy is trouble on the mat.

Striking Intangibles: While Silveira is certainly not going to be mistaken for Wanderlei Silva on the feet any time soon, he does many very good things that suggest he’s not only getting better on the feet, but that he’s very good right now. His movements and feints are excellent, especially when using them to set up strikes. In his head kick knockout of Cody Rolling, he used an excellent shoulder feint to set up a high kick that ultimately ended the fight. He uses his hands well and throws solid combos, though much of the time he uses his strikes to set up takedowns. Silveira is at a good place in terms of his striking acumen.

Needs Improvement

Experience: Silveira is just three fights into his pro MMA career. He also had just four fights in his amateur career. Live cage time is something that Silveira is going to need to collect. He has done the best he can taking as many fights in a small period of time since his pro debut late in 2019. Obviously, regional MMA promotions were mostly shut down in the pandemic, so Silveira likely lost out on a couple of opportunities to fight and add to his record. Here’s to hoping he can get in a minimum of three fights this year.

Size at LHW: By no means is Silveira is small fighter, but he’s a guy that could likely make a more permanent home at middleweight. He’s kind of at that size that 185 is a pretty good cut for him but 205 may be a tad high of a weight class for him. We call it “Rich Franklin” weight. He’s not small a light heavyweight but he is likely to be smaller than many he steps in the cage with, especially at the highest level like the UFC. He either needs to put on my size/girth and stick at 205, or make the sacrifice of cutting down to 185.

Outlook

Top-10 UFC LHW/MW: Forget the fact that Silveira is undefeated, and forget the fact that he trains with the best in the world at American Top Team. The fact that Silveira’s father is Conan Silveira, one of the premiere trainers in the world, should tell you a lot. That means that he’s been doing this since he was a wee lad. That means despite the fact he’s just three fights into his pro career, he has a wealth of time in the gym and on the mat. Silveira’s 28 years old and approaching his athletic prime. He is going to get better continually as we continues to get live reps in the cage. First up is Matt Paul, who is better than his 3-2 record suggests. He has a win over Contender Series alum Cameron Olson, which is a feather in his cap. Does a win put Silveira in the UFC right away? Likely not. But it’s another notch in his belt on the way to a UFC contract in the near future.

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