UFC Vegas 88: Newcomer Danny Silva Slides Past Josh Culibao

Josh Culibao and Danny Silva, UFC Vegas 88
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - MARCH 16: (L-R) Danny Silva punches Josh Culibao of Australia in their featherweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on March 16, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Contender Series alum Danny Silva made his promotional debut at UFC Vegas 88 on Saturday, taking on in what would have been a featherweight match-up.

Unfortunately for Silva, he got off on the wrong foot on Friday, missing weight for the bout by a full two and a half pounds.

To start the fight Silva was pressing forward and hurt Culibao early with a sneaky uppercut. Culibao changed levels but went right into a guillotine. Culibao rolled to his back and barely escaped the choke. They got back to their feet and Silva landed a nice right hook and then a left to the body. Culibao started to fire back with clean straight punched finding the mark. Silva wasn’t moving his head at all so Culibao was landing almost everything he threw.

Silva was clearly trying to get some points back, as he would lunge in with combos but nothing was landing. As the round went on, Culibao was more comfortable as he was in a rhythm. The hand speed of Culibao was evident and his footwork was looking good. Silva pressed Culibao against the cage and dumped him to the mat to close the round.

In round two Culibao was still in rhythm with his hands. He was also landing that teep to the body that was draining Silva. Silva was sill marching forward but did so walking into combinations from Culibao. Silva did eventually let Silva track him down as Silva again would work for a takedown. That time Culibao did a good job fighting wrists and underhooks to defend the takedown. Silva was still coming forward and landed a heavy right hand into a takedown. Culibao was able to get back to his feet right at the bell.

A very close fight heading into an important round three. They clashed early in the round and Silva would get back to that position controlling the back. It wasn’t long until Culibao escaped. Culibao was active with the kicks but Silva was giving him little pace smothering Culibao. He was pouring on the pressure and landed a big right hand into a takedown. Culibao created a scramble and got back to his feet and waived on Silva. Silva obliged and was chasing Culibao with punches. Culibao was using good footwork and countering Silva very well. Silva did land a leg kick that bothers Culibao. He was just walking down Culibao making it uncomfortable for him. A strong round three from Silva, and it likely won him the fight, via split decision.

Official Result: Danny Silva def. Josh Culibao by split decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)