Brazilian welterweight Erick Silva debuts for Bellator at Bellator 216, the second of back-to-back events in Connecticut this weekend. And while he’s no longer debuting opposite Lorenz Larkin, it seems there’s still unfinished business with his fellow UFC alum.
At Bellator 216 this Saturday, Erick Silva will finally make his long-awaited Bellator MMA debut. After finishing his contract with the UFC, Silva took a single fight with LFA. Defeating Nick Barnes to snap a two-fight losing skid, things were looking up. He then signed on with Bellator, and had been expected to meet Lorenz Larkin in a grand prix alternate bout in the fall. A rib injury, however, forced him out of his planned debut.
Instead, Silva (20–9, 1NC) will make his debut at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT. There, he faces the undefeated Yaroslav Amosov. It’s a different fight, but no less dangerous. Amosov is 20-0, a milestone you don’t hit without considerable talent and effort.
“I feel really prepared and really well trained right now,” Silva told Cageside Press ahead of his debut with the promotion. Regardless of opponent.
“I’m going to give him a beating, and he’s not going to have anything to say.”
Larkin, meanwhile, talked a considerable amount of trash after Silva pulled out of their fight. However, Silva explained that “it doesn’t really bother me at all. I know that that’s part of the game, and I know that every professional athlete in combat sports knows that you get injured. It happens.”
Silva reiterated that the comments didn’t get to him. Yet he added that “you can be sure I’m going to give him a beating, and he’s not going to have anything to say.”
Amosov is his immediate concern, mind you. Though not the way you might think. Not worried about his opponent’s record, Silva said “I just hope that he’s really well prepared, because I’m really well trained and prepared and focused for this fight.”
Nor is he fretting over how he gets the win. “I know that I’m going to come out victorious,” he said.
Silva’s jump to Bellator might have raised a few eyebrows earlier this year. Despite ending his UFC deal on a 1-4 run that had many questioning his place in the sport, he managed a return to form in LFA when he submitted Nick Barnes. On joining Bellator, Silva said that “I think that we have a lot of different opportunities in life, and you can be sure this opportunity, I’m going to embrace like no other.” He defended his UFC run, adding that “it’s not like I was slacking before, [like] I didn’t take it seriously.” However, the welterweight added “it’s just a different time, and I see this differently. I’m going to take it even more professionally and I’m going to have a brilliant path in this organization.”
Despite his struggles, Erick Silva remains a name in the welterweight division. While the Bellator Welterweight Grand Prix is already underway, were there a way to join in, Silva would be game. “I don’t know if that’s really a possibility, but if it is, of course, why not?” he said of the possibility. “My goal is to go out there and fight the best and become champion. So why wouldn’t I want to be part of that?”
The man Silva was supposed to meet in his debut, Lorenz Larkin, famously turned down a spot in the tournament, concerned about staying busy. And while Silva admitted that “each athlete can think whatever they want,” he also feels that “if [Larkin] doesn’t want to be in the tournament, then he’s in the wrong place, he’s got the wrong mindset.”
Bellator 216 takes place Saturday, February 16 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT. The card airs live on DAZN.