Alex Silva has been on the ONE Championship roster since 2012 and briefly held the strawweight title. He is currently #5 in the rankings and is coming off an unsuccessful title shot last year.
“I believe I am one of the top guys in the division. My last bout against Joshua Pacio was a very close split-decision loss. I think I deserve one more rematch with him,” he said.
“I respect all the competitors in the division, but I believe I am the best grappler in the division and I have the skills to finish him.”
Minowa is not currently ranked but is riding a five fight winning streak and scored a split decision win over Lito Adiwang at ONE: ‘Inside the Matrix’ Part III. Silva knows his opponent will be looking to move up the rankings at his expense,
“I think he is a good, young fighter. He’ll be very hungry to get my spot in the division,” he said.
Silva comes from a background in BJJ but has been working on the other areas of his game at Evolve MMA in preparation for this fight,
“There’s always things to do. My background is grappling, so I am still working on that, but I am always working on my striking and my wrestling. That’s what I have to improve more and more.”
While Silva is coming off a split defeat his opponent is coming off a split decision win. However the Brazilian believes Minowa won his ONE Championship debut more comfortably than the scorecards suggested,
“I watched his last fight. He completely controlled the whole fight and deserved to get the win. I am happy for him and to get the chance to test my skills against him,” he said.
However he does have a word of warning for Minowa who has a reputation as being a submission specialist,
“He showed his strong side is his grappling, but I think in this case, his strength will be his weakness because grappling is my home, where I feel comfortable.
Having fought 13 times for ONE Championship he knows the division better than most. Silva believes the level of competition has never been better,
“The strawweight division is very competitive in ONE. I believe all the top guys in the division are dangerous. They all have very high-level skills,” Silva said.
But while he has respect for the strawweights on the roster Silva has no doubt that he will finish Minowa on Friday,
“I’ve had a good camp for this fight. I’m very prepared. I’m going to finish him in the second round. I’m going to submit him.”