MMA

Alex Silva: Yoshitaka Naito has a great ground game

Alex Silva, Olivier Coste, Yoshitaka Naito

Alex Silva, Olivier Coste, Yoshitaka Naito

Reigning ONE Strawweight Champion Alex Silva of Brazil will have a rematch with former champion Yoshitaka Naito of Japan at “ONE: Grit and Glory” event at the Jakarta Convention Center in Jakarta, Indonesia on May 12, 2018. They first fought at “ONE: Warriors of the World” at the Impact Arena in Bangkok, Thailand on December 9, 2017 when the Brazilian dethroned the Japanese via a unanimous decision victory.

“I can’t be complacent against Yoshitaka Naito,” Silva stated. “He has a great ground game. Plus, he has a big heart. Even I if I won the first encounter, this match on May 12th is going to be a tough one,”

As Silva expects another tough encounter with Naito at “ONE: Grit and Glory,” the Brazilian champion seeks to take his championship stature to the next level. Silva said, “I do not want to just be the world champion. I want to be the best ever in this division.”

“I work hard, I have the discipline, and I have everything on my side to do it,” Silva continued. “I have a good team around me, I have the dedication, I have the skills, and I am hungry. So that is my new goal, to become the best athlete to ever compete in this division.”

At “ONE: Warriors of the World,” Silva relied on his exquisite Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu background and managed to defend Naito’s grappling advances to walk out of the Impact Arena with the unanimous decision victory and the prestigious ONE Strawweight World Championship in his possession. The Brazilian fighter shared, “I was having fun with my striking. I would just keep all the rounds striking.”

“I wanted to show I could strike,” Silva continued. “I think it is going to be good for my future. I want people to see I am more than just a grappler. I want people to see I am a complete martial artist,” he added.

A submission specialist, Silva seeks to accomplish an encore performance against Naito, who has been handed a golden opportunity to win back the title he once called his and against the only man to ever defeat him. The Brazilian fighter said that Naito “was the champion for a good reason.”

“He is tough as nails,” Silva said of Naito. “Giving up is not his style. But with all due respect, I am determined to keep my belt. I am confident of my skills. My martial arts, my grappling, my conditioning – all of that makes me confident.”

Silva respects his opponent’s skillset and is quick to offer that Natio’s ground game remains as his best attribute. Meanwhile, here is a clip featuring Silva:

For more updates on ONE Championship, please visit www.onefc.com, follow us on Twitter and Instagram @ONEChampionship, and like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ONEChampionship.

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