Brazilian flyweight Natália Silva made another big statement in the octagon at UFC Fight Night 224 last Saturday.
Silva once again made the mixed martial arts world sit up and take notice when she finished Victoria Leonardo by TKO at the 2:58 mark of round 1 of their bout.
This win came off the back of a stunning spinning back kick knockout victory over Tereza Bledá in November of last year.
Silva showed strong defensive grappling in that fight to avoid submission attempts and pieced up Bledá with crisp striking.
She saw the level change from Bledá coming and timed the spinning back kick to the face perfectly before finishing the fight with a barrage of punches.
At the UFC Apex in Las Vegas on Saturday, the 26-year-old looked sharp and aggressive with her striking right out of the gate, swarming Leonardo with check left hooks, right hands and high kicks.
It didn’t take the Brazilian long at all to find her rhythm and range and she made her reads with ease as Leonardo continued to bite on her feints.
Silva went on to land a left hook that dropped her opponent to the canvas and then found the finish with just over 2 minutes of the first round remaining.
She relentlessly peppered Leonardo with high kicks against the cage and shortly after this, landed a nasty right hand that had the American covering up.
Silva landed one more head kick and it was over – the referee had seen enough and stopped the fight.
Her pace, power and combinations were all too much for the American. Leonardo was made to look ordinary and did not look like she belonged in the cage with Silva that evening.
Silva is undefeated in the UFC (3-0) with 2 stoppages and is on a 9 fight winning streak overall.
Before signing with the UFC, Silva fought in Jungle Fight – a Brazilian MMA and kickboxing promotion. She was known for her grappling there, submitting multiple opponents with armbars.
It looks as if she has been working hard on her striking based on her 3 UFC performances and is quickly becoming a well-rounded MMA fighter.
Her speed, footwork and variety of striking have been problematic for her opponents at flyweight so far, and if she continues this run of form then she will soon be knocking on the doors of top ranked opponents in her weight class.
In my opinion, Natália Silva has the skills and potential to be a future champion.
Watch this space.