UFC St. Petersburg marks the debut of 20-1 Brazilian Alex da Silva, who will take on Alexander Yakovlev on short-notice.
On September 15 of last year, the UFC came to Russia for the first time in the promotion’s history and it was an instant success despite many injuries to the card. Now on April 20, the UFC is coming to St. Petersburg, Russia. In a lightweight bout, Alexander Yakovlev was supposed to fight Teemu Packalén but Packalén pulled out due to injury. With that in mind, the UFC went to Brazil and signed 21-fight veteran Alex da Silva.
Balneario Camboriu, Santa Catarina, Brazil
Astra Fight Team
7 Submissions (4 Rear-Naked Chokes, Armbar, Triangle, Guillotine)
How Will Alex da Silva Fare in the UFC:
“Leko” has an impressive record of 20-1. With that said, his first 16 opponents had a combined record of 17-28. Six of his opponents were making their debut against Silva. On the feet, Silva hits hard and that’s with a few one-punch knockouts, head kicks, and hard lead-leg kicks. He has legit power in his hands and has slick combinations but he tends to slow as he takes a while to reach the target. His cardio isn’t bad but his hand speed does drop significantly as the fight goes on. Silva likes to stay on the feet but he does have some decent wrestling to fall back on. He’s better on top because he does have four rear-naked chokes. I don’t think his wrestling nor his ground game is top notch but will work against lesser competition. Leko does have problems with his takedown defense shown in his fights against decent (not good) competition. He does well off his back but it’s nothing a solid fighter will worry about.
- Striking: B-
- Kickboxing: A-
- Clinch: D
- Wrestling: C
- Grappling: C+
- Striking Defense: C
- Takedown Defense: D-
- Cardio: C
- Biggest Strength: Leg kicks
- Biggest Weakness: Takedown Defense
How he Matches Up with Alexander Yakovlev:
Yakovlev hasn’t fought in over two years and is currently on a two-fight skid. To his credit, that is to Zak Cummings and welterweight champ, Kamaru Usman. On the feet, they both like to kick but Silva should be better in that area. Yakovlev, though, is a long fighter and has a pretty good size advantage on Silva so he could stay on the outside. With his size advantage, Yakovlev should be able to utilize his wrestling as he has in the past. Yakovlev has fought guys like Cummings, Usman, Demian Maia, Gray Maynard, and Paul Daley so his competition has been much better. Yakovlev isn’t a top-tier guy but he matches up well with Alex da Silva.