Rafael Silva (22-4) is a Bellator bantamweight facing wrestling talent Darrion Caldwell at Bellator 137. Silva has gone 3-1 in the promotion, with a lone loss to former champion Joe Waren in a 5 round war. With the assistance of a translator, we ask the Brazilian fighter about his seasoned career in the sport and what it’s like to compete internationally.
SF: Do you prefer to fight in Brazil in front of your home crowd or prefer international competition?
Silva: They’re two different pleasures. One gives you more exposure in facing the top opponents but at home you have all of the crowd supporting you. They’re two different things but for me at the end of the day, I always have to fight.
SF: Who are some of your favorite countrymen fighting in the Bellator Roster?
Silva: Bellator has done a great job in the last year signing very good Brazilians. I enjoy watching most of them, especially Patricio and Patricky Freire and Eduardo Dantas.
SF: It’s commonplace for fans in the U.S. to boo the ground game. Is it the same back home or are they more receptive?
Silva: It’s pretty much the same. The public prefers striking but I believe there are some people that enjoy a good grappling match. It doesn’t really change, they’re the same.
SF: Do you think there’s anything that can be changed to prevent injury bugs in MMA or is it just the nature of the business?
Silva: It’s part of the game. MMA is a rough sport, to be able to fight against the best in the world you’ve got to train really hard. Training is usually harder than the fight itself so that’s when the injuries come and break the cards apart. There’s not much that can be done.
SF: What do you anticipate in your fight with Darrion Caldwell?
Silva: I’ve been preparing the way I like in training, wrestling, Thai boxing, ground game etc. but I see the fight going much more into a grappling match. I believe as soon as I punch Caldwell he will probably try to take the fight to the ground. I believe I will tap Caldwell.
Catch Silva vs. Caldwell at Bellator 137 on Spike TV at 9/8C.