Who wants to see new UFC talent!? YOU DO! Or at least you'd better, because that's what you're getting. Bloody Elbow has confirmed with sources close to the fighter that the UFC has signed Filipino Featherweight Mark Eddiva, who will be making his debut on the TUF China Finale against a yet to be named opponent. While Eddiva may not be the first fighter in the UFC to claim the Philippines as his home, he is the first Filipino born fighter in UFC history.
The 27 year old Eddiva trains out of Team Lakay Wushu in Baguio, working alongside recent UFC debutee Dave Galera as well as regional vets Eduard Folayang, Honorio Banario, and Kevin Belingon. He will enter the octagon with a 5-0 record in MMA, although many sites, including the commentary team, listed his 2011 fight against Alex Lee (his most recent MMA fight) as his professional debut. Either way it's a fairly thin resume for a fighter entering the higher realms of MMA competition. Only one fighter on Eddiva's record has ever competed more than twice in his career, and all of them appear to have made their professional debut against him. That's not to say that he has been inactive while outside of MMA competition. He has been an active Wushu-Sanshou fighter in the interim.
Watching Eddiva fight is a bit of an experiment in sifting. He's not an unwilling kickboxer, but he is a very hit-able one. Not because there are any major flaws in his basic striking technique, years of experience should leave him more than capable. But, from everything I've seen I would say he considers himself a grappler foremost, that is his strength. And the indecision of how to move between kickboxing and grappling without much in the way of wrestling to help him along means that he leaves a lot of defensive holes when he tries to close distance. On the ground he's positionally solid if not exceptional. I'm just not sure how much his ground game is going to mean against fighters who aren't totally raw when it comes to grappling, themselves.
On the other side of the spectrum, Douglas Silva de Andrade (also known as Douglas D'Silva) is a picture of MMA activity and striking acumen. Training out of the unheralded Team NFT in Brazil, D'Silva has amassed a 22-0 record fighting on the Brazilian regional circuit. Recently he made his way to the Jungle Fight ranks, and unsurprisingly it's lead the 28 year old straight to Zuffa. Combate reports that D'Silva will be making his way to the UFC on the back of an injury to Thiago Tavares. This leaves D'Silva to face a young Russian prospect in Zubair Tuhugov on February 15 in Jaragua do Sul, Brazil.
The first thing apparent when examining D'Silva is that he is a monstrously powerful puncher. While he hasn't faced the strongest level of opposition 18 of his 22 wins have come by knockout, with half of those in the first round. Watching him fight, he's something of an unassuming striker. His movement is a bit stiff and jerky and he's hardly fleet footed, but what this means (and I'm totally cribbing Patrick Wyman here) is that his striking base is rock solid and helps him generate all kinds of power. He has a great knack for fadeaway/counter hooks as his opponent is coming in which, couple with his natural knockout generating ability, makes him a dangerous counter striker. His squat, powerful form also makes him a bear to take down as he seems more than capable of throwing larger opponents off of him in the clinch. Also of note, he will change his stance entirely to right hand or left hand lead and fight equally as well depending on the stance of his opponent.
For a better look at both fighters check out some video from their most recent fights.
Mark Eddiva vs. Alex Lee at Legacy FC 4:
Douglas D'Silva vs. Tiago Passos at Jungle Fight 63:
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