Tuesday, August 30th, Brazilian strawweight prospect Maria Silva will be in action for Dana White’s Contender Series, where she will be looking to continue her winning ways against Viktoriya Dudakova. She will be looking for another win, as Silva looks to impress Dana White to score a UFC contract. She represents Dragon Kombat, a lesser-known camp in MMA. Let’s take a closer look at this prospect as this week’s “Prospect Spotlight.”
Muay Thai: On the feet, Silva is a very gifted striker. She is very technical in the way she both moves and throws her combinations. She lands accurately and cleanly, which helps her accumulate damage. She doesn’t have the ferocious one-punch knockout power that will stoke fear in her opponents, but she’ll definitely be that striker of the “Death by 1,000 Cuts.” She has good leg kicks that she mixes in well with her punches. She’s good from a distance because of her length, but in close she does have some solid clinch knees and elbows as well. Just three of her wins come by TKO, but that’s not an issue as she usually out-strikes her opponents regardless. She has experience in Kung-Fu and Sanda, to boot.
Jiu-Jitsu: Silva is also very dangerous and slick on the mat, which three more of her victories come from. She can fight on top or off her back, a testament to her overall grappling acumen. From bottom, she threatens with submissions and is able to score sweeps. On top, she’s far more dangerous. She transitions well and advances to finishing positions with seeming ease. Her biggest win to date in terms of talent level came in her most recent fight, where she outgrappled another good grappler in Ewelina Wozniak and choked her out with a rear-naked choke. Also, her grappling was on display in her last Contender Series outing, where she outclassed Kathryn Paprocki on the mat en route to that decision win.
Wrestling Question Marks: The big question marks for Silva lie in two questions: 1. has her offensive wrestling improved to make getting to the ground easier? And 2. what will happen when she has to fight an opponent who has some wrestling credentials/chops that will challenge her offensively and defensively. Thus far, she has not really fought any fighters that are known for their wrestling acumen. That will change as she steps up to the big legs, especially in the women’s strawweight division. Paprocki and Wozniak are really the only people with decent wrestling that she’s opposed, but now, she takes on Viktoriya Dudakova who will have a wrestling-heavy approach. Perhaps some of those questions marks get answered in this fight.
UFC Prelim Fighter: Silva’s well-rounded game and experience definitely lend her well and she will be in the UFC at some point in the near future. She does have a stiff test in front of her right now in Dudakova, who will give her all she can handle. That said, Silva has the tools to get past this stiff test and join the world’s biggest MMA promotion. Once she’s there, she will spend some time with the promotion. There are a number of winnable fights on the roster for her right now, though there are some fighters on the roster that Silva will have some issues with. Either way, she’d be a welcome addition to the roster given her abilities.