There’s a famous quote from Christopher Nolan’s “Batman Begins” about fear. The infamous mob boss character, Carmine Falcone, talks with Bruce Wayne and says, “You always fear what you don’t understand.” Title challenger Josenaldo Silva is hoping that fear of the unknown will play in his favor at WSOFNYC.
The Brazilian enters the decagon as an unknown to nearly everyone across the MMA landscape. Competing in Brazil’s famed Jungle Fights promotion for nearly his entire career, it’s easy to understand why. This isn’t to say Silva is some schlub off the streets, far from it actually. The title challenger has compiled an impressive 25-4 record and hasn’t lost in over five years.
That’s an impressive streak in MMA that very few fighters can achieve. Although Jungle Fights isn’t a popular MMA promotion in North America, it’s a well-known hotbed for MMA talent in Brazil. Some of the best fighters to come from the South American country have competed under the Jungle Fights banner.
“Jungle Fight is the toughest place to fight in the world,” Silva said. “You can’t choose opponents, you can’t have a fight with a long term notice and even if you win fights, if you’re fighting to win by decision, you get fired. You have to fight to submit or knockout your opponent.”
The Brazilian has done his best to avoid hearing the final bell as the vast majority (19 of 25) of Silva’s wins have come via knockout or submission. Tabbing himself as a knockout fighter, Silva will have a seemingly impossible task ahead of him at WSOFNYC.
Entering the Decagon for the first time, Silva won’t have any warm-up fights. Instead, the surging fighter will stand off against fellow Brazilian and WSOF bantamweight champion, Marlon Moraes.
Like Silva, Moraes has been on quite a roll and hasn’t tasted defeat since 2011. Also like Silva, Moraes was a relative unknown when joining the WSOF’s ranks back at WSOF1 in 2012. Since then, Moraes has won nine consecutive bouts, including six wins by (T)KO or submission.
Despite the impressive run of Moraes, Silva is determined to prove that while he’s not a household name yet, he plans on announcing his arrival to the big stage in style.
“I think I’m better then Marlon everywhere. Especially with my stand up,” Silva said. “I’m a muay Thai fighter. He is a muay Thai fighter only when compared to MMA guys.”
Knowing the significance of the title fight and fighting on hollowed ground at Madison Square Garden, Silva has said his training regimen encompasses six hours each day. Considering the level of preparation and skill from both men, fans can expect this bantamweight title showdown to become an instant classic.
The WSOFNYC mega-event boasting an unmatched roster of world-class athletes will air live on NBC Sports (2:30 p.m. ET – 4 p.m. ET on NBCSN, 4 p.m. ET – 6 p.m. ET on NBC) on Saturday, December 31.