It’s no secret at this point that Bruno Silva likes to have fun, whether it’s inside or out of the Octagon.
We first caught a glimpse of this side of “Blindado” in his debut, following his first-round knockout of Wellington Turnman, when Silva danced with Bruce Buffer inside the Octagon while waiting for the official decision to be read.
“To dance and to play with the public, it’s how Bruno ‘Blindado’ is,” Silva said through a translator during his UFC.com fight week interview ahead of UFC 269. “In my personal life and in my professional life, I’m like this. I’m a very happy guy and it for sure brings something good for me and for my career.”
It’s a mindset that likely got the 32-year-old through the darker parts of his career, whether it was starting his career 5-5 before going on his current 16-1 run, or his UFC debut being delayed two years due to a USADA sanction.
“I don’t like to talk more about that time of my career, but for sure it was important,” Silva said. “In that time, I had my family, I had my child, but I’m sure these two fights prove to everyone that I deserve to be here and that I’m one of the best fighters in my division.”
With that chapter of his life finally closed and two emphatic knockout wins inside the Octagon fueling him, Silva’s top focus has been staying active — so much so, he signed his bout agreement for this weekend’s matchup against Jordan Wright the day after his last fight.
“I didn’t have time to celebrate my last fight because less than 24 hours later, I signed the new contract, but I’m very happy to be here again. It’s a short time between the fights, but I train the whole year, so for me it’s not a problem; it’s a part of my plan to do three fights in six months.”
This time, he lands on the late prelims of the final pay-per-view of 2021, and is one of seven Brazilians to be competing inside T-Mobile Arena come Saturday night.
“For me, the Brazilians are some of the best fighters,” he said, smiling. “It’s very nice to see, for example, Glover Teixeira become a champion at 42 years old, and to see José Aldo, even fighting on the same card as Charles ‘Do Bronx,’ for sure, it’s a motivation.”
Hailing from a country rooted in combat sports, Brazilian fighters have always carried a different brand of heart into the Octagon, making it seem as if the fighting was the easy part.
“To be an MMA fighter in any country isn’t easy, but in Brazil, it’s even harder for us. In my opinion, that’s why we are so good and so tough — because we need to put a lot of work into what we do and bring a lot of things into the Octagon, because life in Brazil is very hard.”
Inspired by the Brazilian legends who came before him, Silva hopes to introduce a new level to his game each time the chain links lock behind him.
“In every fight I’m always trying to bring new things into the Octagon. I love the old style; I love the way Wanderlei Silva, Shogun and Minotauro fought,” Silva said, circling back to his excitement to fight in front of fans. “With this added opportunity of competing in front of fans, it’s amazing for me.”
Standing opposite him will be Jordan Wright, looking to expand on his first-round knockout over Jamie Pickett in May. Although Silva is confident as he heads into Saturday’s middleweight matchup, he’s still cautious of the “danger” Wright brings with him.
“I don’t normally like to see a lot about my opponent or talk about my opponent, but he’s a dangerous guy. I don’t talk trash, I prefer to show everyone how aggressive I am in my own way,” Silva said. “But, he’ll be in front of me and he’s good, but I’m better.”
Fueled by the prospect of fighting in front of fans in a packed T-Mobile arena, Silva is ready once again to go to war, and promises “a victory and a new dance with Bruce Buffer.”