Mayra “Sheetara” Bueno Silva, 30, is a large 5-foot-7 bantamweight with an 8-2 professional record. After earning a contract to the show with a first-round submission win on Dana White’s Contender Series in 2018, Bueno Silva has gone 3-2-1 in the UFC. She has two submissions and one decision win; both of her losses have been decisions.
Stephanie Egger, also a large 5-foot-7 bantamweight, is 33 years old with a 7-2 professional record. In the UFC, Egger dropped her debut via unanimous decision but rebounded with back-to-back finish wins.
The opening bout of UFC on
Bueno Silva entered the UFC on the back of her submission prowess, specifically her dangerous guard. Bueno Silva, like many Brazilian fighters, has a slick submission game and often prefers to fight from her back rather than the more typically pursued top position. Bueno Silva’s typical path to getting the fight to the mat is by engaging the clinch and baiting or trapping her opponent into taking her down.
It’s interesting to note that Bueno Silva has two submission wins, both via armbar, in the UFC without landing or even attempting her own takedown. Implementing a ground game without being able to wrestle might be a red flag in some cases, but, in Bueno Silva’s case, it appears to be a viable path to victory. That is because she can crack on the feet. Bueno Silva has strong kicks from range and heavy knees in the clinch. When striking, she pushes a solid volume and is always moving forward. With her natural strength and above-average power on the feet, Bueno Silva forces her opponent to clinch rather than try and stand with her. It’s important to note, though, that Bueno Silva is a poor defensive striker, so this strategy is risky when facing more technical strikers, specifically varied kickboxers.
Both of her losses have come against women who could stick’n move without needing the clinch as an escapee, and all of her wins have come against women incapable of cutting angles, allowing Bueno Silva’s straightforward pressure to dictate the fight. Bottom line, look for Bueno Silva to win fights when she can hurt her opponent with linear striking and force a clinch fight or scramble. But, when she fights a mobile and technical striker, Bueno Silva struggles.
Egger is a Judo fighter with a strong upper body and clinch game. Egger typically looks to engage the clinch as quickly as possible because her range striking is basic and low volume. Despite often being the larger woman, Egger struggles to maintain a safe and effective range; her jab is basic, and her combinations are slow.
Instead, Egger will engage just enough on the feet to close distance; more recently, Egger will allow her opponent to push her back to the cage, then Egger will grab ahold of her opponent and take her into her Judo world. Egger has a strong upper body, uses head position well, and can land takedowns through Judo throws. Egger excels by following her opponent down after the Judo throw and hunting the finish from the top position.
Egger struggles, though, when opponents drop levels in the clinch or successfully scramble and force Egger into bottom position. Egger can survive from her back but often gives up several minutes of control time, unable to get the fight back on the feet or reverse position. Egger tends to win fights when she has the strength advantage, advantage in the clinch, and can Judo throw an opponent down to end up in top position. Egger tends to struggle against volume strikers or opponents with a dangerous grappling game.
This fight is interesting since a situation should arrive early that gives both women what they want – a clinch fight. If Egger ends up in a dominant top position, she can find another finish win, but if it hits the mat and Egger makes one small mistake, Bueno Silva could take another arm home with her. I think the key here is the in-between moments.
Bueno Silva should be more dangerous and have much higher output on the feet. I like Bueno Silva to win the early minutes of each round with her striking and clinch knees, then each woman’s ground game cancels each other out. With pick’em odds, I’ll avoid method and just take the more complete fighter to win: Bueno Silva.
Pick: Mayra Bueno Silva to win (+110 odds at BetUS)
Michael Pounders is a high school English Teacher, a boxer himself, and is a fan who loves, gambles on, and nerds out about all things MMA.