PFL light heavyweight and former LFA double champ Josh Silveira has landed himself in this year’s PFL Championship, his first shot at claiming gold in a major promotion.
“It feels good, man. It feels good, it feels great. Still hard to wrap my head around it sometimes, because I think the feeling is always unexplainable,” explained Silveira (12-1). “But at the same time, man, I feel like this is what I worked for and I’m right where I need to be. So no surprises, no surprises here.”
The pairing with Kasanganay is a promising one, but not one expected to be fueled by any sort of bad blood. Both fighters are soft-spoken, professional martial artists who have plenty of respect for each other.
“You’re right I’m not much of a trash talker. I don’t know, it’s just kind of funny to me,” acknowledged Silveira. “I know how to talk and defend myself if somebody came at me, but I think it’s just kind of funny sometimes. I like to be the good guy a little bit, but if I’ve got to be the bad guy, I’ll be the bad guy if I have to.”
“I think in this particular fight you’re right. We’ve got respect for each other. Just two good, old fashioned kids that want to go win a million and win a world title. That might be one of the best fights of the night to be honest. We’ve got two young, hungry guys, he wants to do better for himself and so do I. Who knows, man. Fireworks might happen.”
Hockey fans know this story well. The 1982-83 Edmonton Oilers fielded one of the strongest teams possible that season, with names like Wayne Gretzky, Mark Messier, Glenn Anderson, Paul Coffey, and Jari Kurri. They would cruise through the regular season and playoffs, only to be thrashed by the New York Islanders in the Stanley Cup Final.
The Oilers learned the hard way what it would take to win a championship, and came back to win it all the following year, taking revenge on the Islanders in the process. Josh Silveira has held gold on the regional scene, but Friday marks his first championship bout for a major promotion. So how can he steel himself, and not suffer a similar fate?
“I think the best way to answer that question, I don’t know if I speak for every fighter— but I think what goes through our minds, there’s thousands of things that go through our minds, but I think the most realistic thing is, ‘am I ready to push this pace 25 minutes?'” replied Silveira. “Five rounds. 25 minutes. And do whatever it takes, no matter what situation I put myself in.”
Aside from being ready for 25 minutes “of constant motion,” Silveira believes he’s filled a critical hole in his game: he’s no longer scared of getting tired. “I think that’s the hole I’ve been filling out this whole season, is not being scared to get tired, not being fearful to put myself out there and lay it on the line and do what I’ve got to do.”
Come Friday, we’ll know if that will be enough.
Watch our full interview with PFL light heavyweight finalist Josh Silveira above. The 2023 PFL Championship takes place at The Anthem in Washington, D.C. on November 24, 2023.