’s five-bout run in the
Ultimate Fighting Championship
has been something of a
Jekyll-and-Hyde experience.

The former M-1 Global
champion will attempt to snap a two-fight losing streak when he
confronts Brad
in a
UFC Fight Night 222
middleweight showcase on Saturday at the
UFC Apex in Las Vegas. Silva’s recent struggles are made all the
more maddening by the fact that he kickstarted his campaign inside
the Octagon with consecutive finishes of Wellington
, Andrew
and Jordan
, with two of those victories resulting in $50,000
performance bonuses.

“Those three fights in a row were unforgettable,” he told “The bonuses improved and changed my family’s life. I
invested the money in our future. It was one of the most incredible
periods of my career.”

Prosperity proved fleeting, however. Silva followed a decision
defeat to Alex
at UFC Fight Night 203 on March 12, 2022 with a
submission loss to Gerald
at UFC on ESPN 41 five months later. The setback
against Meerschaert—Silva succumbed to a guillotine choke in the
third round—remains a sore spot for the 33-year-old Brazilian.

“My last fight was horrible,” he said. “I fought very badly. I
underestimated my opponent. I was very mentally tired, as I’d had
five fights in 14 months. Nothing worked. I wanted it to end soon
and wanted to go home. It was literally a bad day at work that I
want to erase from my memory. Unfortunately, it happened. Credit
goes to him. He beat me.”

Silva continues to sharpen his skills at the Evolucao Thai academy
fronted by Dream and
K-1 Hero’s veteran Andre Amade in Curitiba, Brazil.

“I’ve been there for eight years,” Silva said. “I don’t do camps. I
train there all year long. We have a ton of training partners. My
changes this time around involve being leery of social media,
taking care of my mind much more than before and focusing on my
standup, ground and wrestling. I’m improving in every facet.”

Tavares provides Silva’s next test. The Hawaiian has been a
mainstay on the UFC roster since he reached the semifinals of “The
Ultimate Fighter 11” in 2010. Tavares’ 14 wins in the middleweight
division tie him with Anderson
and Derek
for second on the promotion’s all-time list at 185
pounds. The
Xtreme Couture
product last competed at UFC 276, where he wound
up on the wrong side of a unanimous verdict against Dricus Du
on July 2.

“Tavares is the kind of fight I like, because I know there’s a
dangerous guy in front of me,” Silva said. “I rise to the occasion
in that kind of situation. I feel good. I’ll do my best to win. I
really believe it will be a great fight. My focus this time is not
to put on a show but to beat him in any way possible: knockout,
submission or on points. I will fight like never before, and this
time, it will be for me, for everything I’ve been through. I will
give myself this gift. It’s going to be a war.”

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Bruno Silva’s Reversal of Fortune