The biggest test that Bruno Silva faces against Brad Tavares isn’t anything to do with the physical aspect of fighting. It’s the mental aspect; his mind.
After starting his UFC career 3-0, defeating Wellington Turman, Andrew Sanchez, and Jordan Wright, all by knockout, the Brazilian has dropped back-to-back-fights against former middleweight champion Alex Pereira and Gerald Meerschaert. The mental aspect of the game has been something that Silva has been working on since he last fought in August and it’s an important piece of his puzzle.
“At the moment, my mental part is more important than my physical part,” Silva said. “The physical part has never left me in the fight, but the mental part has already taken me to the top and has already put me at the bottom. It is good to take care of this part.”
The 33-year-old has fought in the APEX four times in his UFC career already, and he noted that the city of Las Vegas brings back good memories for him. He will step into the Octagon inside the APEX once again this weekend as he faces Brad Tavares at UFC Fight Night: Pavlovich vs Blaydes.
Tavares has been fighting in the UFC since 2011, earning a record of 14-7 inside the Octagon. Before Silva entered the UFC, he had been keeping tabs on Tavares.
“When I was fighting in Russia, I was already watching Brad Tavares' fights,” Silva said. “I like his style. My opinion as a fighter is that he has good boxing and good stamina. For me, this is positive. I think I fight better when I face a dangerous fighter. The fights that I lost the most were against fighters that I didn't feel that from them.”
Despite the losses, Silva still has a positive outlook on his fight career. An exciting character in the Octagon, he is staying focused on the present and the future, rather than dwelling on the past.
He believes he has evolved his fight game and is eager to showcase an aggressive “Blindado” on Saturday night.
“My victories in 2021 have passed and my defeats in 2022 have to pass, as well,” Silva said. “Today I am a new person living a new situation. Of course, you will not see a Bruno who will run away from his specialty, but a more mature and intelligent fighter. And more aggressive, for sure.”
Just like Silva, Tavares is looking to get things back on track after falling to Dricus Du Plessis last July at UFC 276. Prior to that, Tavares was on a two-fight win streak defeating Omari Akhmedov and Antonio Carlos Junior.
Even though he is entering his third year as a UFC fighter, Silva is looking at this fight at a new start and another way to showcase his skills as a fighter.
“I'm really looking at it as a debut, but this time it's not to show anything to others,” Silva said. “This fight is very personal, and a win would be of personal importance. This is to show myself everything I've been through, so I really want it and I'm going for the win.”
And for now, that’s all he is focused on. Saturday night and getting a win over Brad Tavares.
“I can't think about the future and forget about the present,” Silva said. “I don't like to say that I will be champion in two years or things like that. I can't think like that. My future is on Saturday, and it's called Brad Tavares, after that I'll think about something.”
UFC Fight Night: Pavlovich vs Blaydes took place live from the UFC APEX in Las Vegas on April 22, 2023. See the Final Results, Official Scorecards and Who Won Bonuses - and relive the action on UFC Fight Pass!