Another day, another fight, another injury, and most importantly another opportunity for a new fighter to make his UFC debut. Following an injury to Kenny Robertson, who most recently lost a close decision to Sean Pierson at UFC 161, Combate reports that the UFC has signed undefeated prospect Elias Silverio. Silverio is 8-0 and although only three of those 8 wins have come by finish (all by TKO) he has an aggressive Muay Thai arsenal which he deploys liberally throughout his fights. In fact he reminds me quite a bit of Matt Brown, both offensively and defensively (which may not serve him well down the line); although, I'd say that his style is more centered around opening and closing combinations with kicks, and punching his way in between them.
Despite Sherdog saying that he's 5'9" he's listed at 6' 0" on his tale-of-the-tape and looks much closer to that height. Considering that he's not fighting with an incredibly lean frame he should have good size at welterweight and not find himself needing to drop down. At only 26 years old and with only two years as a professional, Silverio is a very bright prospect. He most recently won the Jungle Fight Welterweight title, proving once again that there is no better avenue for Brazilians looking to enter the UFC than a championship under Wallid Ismail's promotion.
For Zeferino, this fight may be sink or swim. His last performance, against Rafael Natal was fairly uninspiring. He's returning to his natural weight class here, so hopefully he'll be able to do more than hang around with his opponent. But Silverio is a drastically different fighter than what he was training for. I don't know where he was in his preparation three weeks out, but he'll have to shift from a very solid wrestler to a very solid striker. Usually I like to make a pick around here as to who I think should be favored, but I honestly have no idea. Zeferino looked solid if not amazing against Natal at MW, and Silverio looks exciting but underpowered as a striking centric fighter. Flip a coin, it's anyone's fight to win or lose.
UFC Fight Night 28: Teixeira vs. Bader takes place September 4th in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Here's a look at Silverio's most recent fight for the Jungle Fight title, just to get us acquainted:
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