Jhonata Silva fights Serdar Atlas at SC 19 (via MMAViking)

Dana White’s Contender Series season is in full swing and opening up week seven is a flyweight matchup between two interesting prospects in Igor da Silva and Jhonata Silva.

These are two young fighters with a lot of room to grow into their respective games but have already caught Dana’s eye with their skill sets.

Betting Odds

Igor da Silva is the favorite over the smaller but very live underdog in Jhonata Silva:

  • Igor da Silva: -200 (BetUS)
  • Jhonata Silva: +150 (BetUS)

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Fight Breakdown

Igor da Silva is a Chute Boxe product with a well-rounded game consisting of a lot of forward pressure, heavy hands and impressive submissions. At only 20 years old, he’s still pretty raw in his abilities but we’ve seen consistent, noticeable improvement over his last few fights, specifically in his striking.

Igor’s striking is coming along nicely but there are still plenty of holes to be found. We got to see him showcase his boxing combinations in his most recent bout where his opponent offered nothing in return in the striking department. He looked sharp against the standing target along the cage at the end of round 2, but he’s open to be countered often as he swings wildly and finds himself off-balance when his opponent keeps their feet moving. He’s been outstruck in a few matchups but as he gains more experience and gets stronger, he has the potential to be extremely dangerous.

Part of his high ceiling is due to his submission grappling as well. Though not utilized lately, Igor has displayed quick reactions to submission opportunities from all kinds of weird angles and positions. He’s great at catching kicks (mainly to the front side of his stance) and using this to throw the right hand and get his opponent down. When he’s on the ground, he’s about as aggressive as it gets; he rains down ground n pound and is very good at snagging submission opportunities, but he’s also been extremely susceptible to being caught in submissions himself.

His tendency to be overly aggressive has really been the big problem I’ve noticed thus far for Da Silva. The openings he leaves for counters on the feet paired with the way he gives up so many submission opportunities to opponents, it’s just a matter of time before he gets caught and finished himself.

His opponent is the former Strawweight champion of Shooto Brasil, Jhonata Silva. Silva is an extremely quick striker with light feet and great counters. His only fight in the last four years was a knockout victory in Cage Warriors where he set up the right high kick beautifully throughout the fight and eventually rocked his opponent with it before finishing it with a nasty counter knee.

Silva’s main weapon is his speed which should come as no surprise for someone who used to fight at 115 lbs. He likes to create space around the cage with his footwork while looking for openings for counters. I love the way he uses feints to set up his entries; his boxing combos are sharp and he knows how to create openings with these small movements before exploding in with strikes. He does a lot of good work to the body as well with his kicks and punches mixed into his multi-level combos. His ability to set up shots was most evident in his last bout as he timed the right high kick perfectly two or three times, making solid contact and setting up the end of the fight with it.

One area that is a big weak spot in Jhonata’s game is the takedown defense. Even with his quickness and counter style, he seems oblivious to a lot of the takedown attempts against him and is taken down almost at will. He’s gotten up efficiently and it doesn’t seem to sap too much energy from him, but he can’t get taken down as easily as he has been if he wants to make it in the UFC.

Igor da Silva is going to need to mix in his wrestling and use his grappling throughout this one to get the win. His striking has improved over time and I expect him to look better on Tuesday as well, but Jhonata seems like the quicker, more technical striker who can last a full fifteen minutes at a grueling pace. Given the submission ability of Igor, he should have plenty of opportunities to jump on submission attempts as Jhonata works to get back to his feet and he’d be wise to focus on trying to finish the fight there vs on the feet.

Jhonata has a much harder path to victory but one I find very possible. If he can effectively get back to his feet (preferably not get taken down at all) through the first round, I think he’ll begin to outlast Igor and be able to work his offense on the feet. He’ll be at a size disadvantage, but Igor has struggled to keep faster opponents in front of him to land his strikes and Jhonata has looked faster than any opponent he’s faced in his young career.


Igor da Silva is over a two-to-one favorite right now against Jhonata Silva and given his size advantage and grappling ability, it’s a fair line. Igor likely shoots for the takedown at some point early in round one if he’s unable to have his way in the striking department and from there, he’s very good at hunting the finish. However, these odds could look foolish if Igor isn’t able to track Jhonata down and/or keep him under him after getting the takedown. I’m hoping we see an improved wrestling game from Jhonata and I’m taking him to pull off the upset by keeping this one on the feet and landing with more volume over the course of three rounds.

  • Prediction: Jhonata Silva to win +150
  • Best Bet: Jhonata Silva to win by decision

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