Brazilian welterweight Claudio Silva is undefeated in five UFC appearances, which include a win over Leon Edwards and a trio of submissions. But he wonders if he has to start doing things outside the Octagon to get the attention he feels he’s deserved.
“Hannibal” returned from a 61-month layoff between 2014 and 2018 to submit Nordine Taleb, Danny Roberts and Cole Williams in the Octagon. He hoped the promotion would give him a top-ranked opponent at UFC Brasilia, a Fight Night show scheduled for March 14 in Brazil, or a week later at UFC London.
Silva is still waiting.
“I see a lot of people get signed and booked to fight in Brasilia, but the UFC still don’t know what’s next for me,” he told MMA Fighting. “Nothing against those fighters, but I’m 5-0 in the UFC and deserve more attention.”
Silva hasn’t lost since his professional MMA debut in 2007, winning 14 straight. Aiming to face a top-15 opponent in his next bout, the 37-year-old welterweight is frustrated enough to contemplate unusual ways of getting attention.
“If I’m beating everyone and still not getting someone ranked, I’ll go after Conor McGregor in Ireland and leave him unconscious in the middle of the street, since he’s the tap machine,” Silva said. “That’s one of the plans I have, but I’m sure I’d get kicked out of the organization if I do that. That’s some gangster sh*t. I think I would get arrested. McGregor would go to the police station and press charges against me.”
Silva is so “disgusted” with the UFC official ranking that he doesn’t even look at it anymore. Therefore, he mentions names like Matt Brown – who’s fresh off a comeback win over Ben Saunders at UFC 245 – and Carlos Condit as fighters he’d like to face next; neither is currently ranked among the 15 best at welterweight.
“Look at my wins, look at the guys I’ve beaten,” Silva said. “If I don’t fight in Brasilia, I’ve already told them to put me in the London card. I want to be the main event in London. I beat Leon Edwards. He has a bigger name, but I beat him. I want a ranked opponent, but they don’t give me one.
“How am I going to (be in the) top 15 if ranked fighters are scared to fight me? The UFC should force them to fight me. Imagine if the UFC offered me a fight with Nordine Taleb after a four-year layoff and I said no because he was too tough? I went there and beat him up. Simple.
“Their guys are all wussies. My record, my life story scares them, or maybe my performances, or my nickname. They are afraid. Everyone talks like gangsters, but when a real gangster comes, they run away.”
Silva wonders even more why he’s not in heavy rotation considering he speaks both Portuguese and English and is 3-0 with three submissions since returning from a series of injuries.
“When an American wrestler gets someone down, ground and pound him and finishes a fight, they say wrestling is the big deal,” Silva said. “When I do that, they say it’s boring. I fight to win. Take you down, elbow to the face, get your back and choke you out.
“I’m a fighter, I’m here to be effective. I’m not here for a show. Many guys just put on a show and lose, and get a pat on the back with a, ‘You lost in spectacular fashion.’ F*** you!’ I fight to win. You want a show? Go to Moulin Rouge or Cirque du Soleil. This is a fight.”