With all but one of his victories coming by way of submission, Alex “Little Rock” Silva from the Evolve Fight Team is especially dangerous when the action hits the mat.
The 36-year-old Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu World Champion is a bonafide finisher, using his world-class grappling and submission skills to subdue opponents quickly and seemingly without much effort.
His masterful skills on the ground are second to none in the strawweight division. Frankly speaking, once Silva grabs a hold of opponents, there isn’t much they can do to escape his vice-like grip.
The veteran martial artist is perennially one of the top contenders to the strawweight throne. At ONE: DESTINY OF CHAMPIONS, set for Kuala Lumpur’s Axiata Arena this Friday, 7 December, Silva steps back inside the ONE Championship cage looking to make a statement. He takes on Japanese warrior Yosuke Saruta, who himself aims for a shot at the title currently held by the Philippines’ Joshua Pacio.
Although Saruta is well-rounded, with skills in both the stand-up and grappling exchanges, “Little Rock” maintains he is well-equipped to handle wherever the bout leads him to. Nevertheless, Silva is also looking to showcase his grappling skills once again and for good reason.
He could very well be the most talented submission artist, not just in his division, but in all of ONE Championship. Today, Evolve Daily shares three wicked submissions that showcase Alex Silva’s BJJ mastery.
1) Armbar against Roy Doliguez
Taking on former world title challenger Roy “The Dominator” Doliguez of the Philippines, Silva was faced against a former boxer and cage veteran. As such, he wasted no time in bringing the action to the ground.
Once on the mat, it was all “Little Rock”. Despite Doliguez’ inherent toughness, the Filipino was simply no match for Silva’s handiwork on the ground.
In the third round of the bout and finding himself in full mount, Silva capitalized on an opportunity during a scramble. Maintaining wrist control, Silva snaked in Doliguez’ arm as the Filipino tried to bridge out of his position. That turned out to be a big mistake against a grappler of Silva’s caliber.
With Doliguez’ arm trapped, Silva cranked on it to hyperextend, leaving the Filipino no choice but to tap out. It was a masterful technique shown by a wily veteran in Silva, and one that proves you can never get too comfortable in there with a BJJ World Champion.
Anticipating what Doliguez would do next and how he would try and escape mount played a huge factor in Silva’s strategy and armbar setup. As seen in the video above, Silva was in control every step of the way and showed exactly how he recognized the armbar opportunity.
2) Kneebar submission over Ruel Catalan
Filipino opponent Ruel Catalan was hungry and determined to prove himself against an elite opponent of Silva’s caliber. Instead, he found himself in a world of hurt when Silva put together an amazing knee bar submission in the very first round.
The performance is a testament to Silva’s ability to finish from any position. As long as the Brazilian has a hold of an opponent’s limb, his mastery of the grappling arts allows him to source multiple submission opportunities from any position. Against Catalan, it was a knee bar that presented itself and Silva was more than happy to take advantage of it.
Once Silva latched onto Catalan’s foot, it was just a matter of time. The more Catalan tried to scramble, the deeper the knee bar went until it was all but completely hyperextended. Catalan had no choice but to tap out and surrender victory.
Analyzing his win, Silva actually tried to go for the sweep initially but realized an opening to capture the leg. Catalan tried to roll out of his predicament, but it only made matters worse as he put himself in a bad position. Silva maintained composure and control all throughout the grappling exchange, despite Catalan’s attempt to wiggle out and escape.
Remaining poised, Silva adjusted to his opponent’s movement, constantly on the attack until he found the right angle and finished the knee bar.
3) First-round armbar finish over Hayato Suzuki
This bout is what set Alex Silva up for a shot at the ONE Strawweight World Title, then held by former champion Yoshitaka Naito. Silva knew going into the matchup with Suzuki that he could earn a title shot with a resounding performance. As a result, “Little Rock” put forth one of his most impressive showings to date.
Suzuki would enter the bout riding a wave of momentum, having submitted now reigning division kingpin Joshua Pacio with a rear naked choke in his ONE Championship debut. Looking for a title shot of his own, the Japanese wrestler took the action straight to the Brazilian submission specialist.
Suzuki shot in for a takedown within the first 20 seconds of the contest, obviously looking to bring the action to the mat. This, however, proved to be his undoing. On the canvas, Silva was right at home.
Silva, seeing an opportunity to helicopter himself into a triangle, used Suzuki’s own momentum against him as the Japanese fighter tried to pass guard. The Brazilian wound up in mount, with both of Suzuki’s arms trapped. Having control of the Japanese athlete’s wrist, Silva rolled into an armbar.
Surprisingly, Suzuki tapped rather quickly. It was a shockingly quick submission finish for Silva, who went on to challenge for the title in his next bout against Naito.
Silva would eventually defeat Naito and capture the ONE Strawweight World Championship, using his always-improving striking skills no less.
This Friday, 7 December at ONE: DESTINY OF CHAMPIONS, Silva will look to make a statement against Japanese opponent Yosuke Saruta. A victory could position him once again for another crack at the ONE World Title.
Catch Alex “Little Rock” Silva from the Evolve Fight Team at ONE: DESTINY OF CHAMPIONS and show your support!