Yoshitaka Naito: I thought Alex Silva’s weakness was striking


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30 April 2018, Jakarta, Indonesia – Yoshitaka “Nobita” Naito, 34, of Matsudo, Japan has been handed a golden opportunity to win back the gold-plated strap that he once called his and against the only man to ever defeat him. On December 9, 2017, he lost his ONE Strawweight World Championship title to Alex “Little Rock” Silva of Brazil at “ONE: Warriors of the World” in Bangkok, Thailand.

“In the beginning, I thought his weakness was striking since he is a multi-titled Jiu-Jitsu practitioner,” Naito said of Silva. “However, it turned out that his strikes hurt a lot. That was my first time meeting an athlete who is good at everything.”

On May 12, 2018, Naito will have his rematch against Silva in the main event of “ONE: Grit and Glory,” which will take place at the Jakarta Convention Center in Jakarta, Indonesia. During their first bout, Naito bowed down to Silva, who demonstrated his rapidly-evolving striking game to beat the then-undefeated Japanese champion by unanimous decision.

“Alex had more superiority in the cage on that night,” Naito recalled. “I could not dictate the pace and do what I wanted to do. I was adapting throughout the match. In every aspect, my game plan failed.”

Naito admitted that he was caught off guard by the pesky striking arsenal of Silva, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu world champion who previously exhibited his grappling prowess with five consecutive submission victories as he surged into world title contention in 2017. According to the Japanese fighter, he felt like he was not good enough at anything after the loss.

Currently, Naito has 12 wins and 1 loss while Silva has 7 wins and 1 loss. Watch the highlights of Naito’s fighting career here:

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