The Severe Spotlight: Natália Silva

In recent articles, and in episodes of Speakers Corner the notion of a prime is discussed. Deeper than a prime is a fighter being able to combine physical age, with cage experience, with skill acquisition, with mental maturity whilst at the same time being in the right matchups at the right time to hone and display those skills.

Take a moment to actualise the variables involved in such a process.

Natália Silva rode into Saturday night aloft an 8-fight win streak, 2-0 in the UFC (with 1 finish) with a win over Jasmine Jasudavicius and the viral spinning back kick over Tereza Bledá. 2:58 seconds was all that was needed to dispatch of her latest assignment, in American Victoria Leonardo.

The first thirty seconds, Silva builds her stalls foundational base with an upright posture and wide stance, her cadence in and out of the pocket is swift. She switches stances, and circles away from the power hand of Leonardo well.  It is not long before she rolls out her wares from the rug in her backpack for the American to bear witness too. In this fight she brought a check left hook, some clean 1-2 combinations, and an extremely dextrous pair of legs, happy to go high or low with their whipping tenacious attacks.

The versatility of both the check left hook and the high kicks were impressive. The range management was pivotal to being able to bait Leonardo in, and to land the high kicks on her way out of the pocket.

There are two sequences to highlight here. The first is with 3:44 left in the round, Leonardo is edging her way into the pocket, her shoulders leaning over her hips. Silva baits her own entrance to the pocket with a half step from her lead leg; Leonardo reacts by beginning to throw a back teep – as the back teep looks to leave the chamber, Silva bounces right back in and lands a crisp 1-2 as a jam. The check left hook whistles by.

A reset and some feints later, we see the angle change efficiency of Silva. 3:30 on the clock this time as Leonardo again looks to brace the pocket, with a tight guard and a tucked chin. Silva switches from orthodox to southpaw as Leonardo advances, lifting a left high kick that rockets off the ribs – a punishment for the high guard. She steps the left foot back down on an angle, seeing that the right hand is coming from Leonardo, slipping the right hand, and landing that patented check left hook. Leonardo wheels away and squares back up.

When a fighter struggles to enter the pocket due to being jammed, or setup for punishing kicks and check left hooks, the willingness to enter the same pocket diminishes; that is the reduction of an element of an attack. By 3:25 on the clock, Leonardo is far less willing to come into the pocket due to the tactical awareness of the myriad of shots taken thus far. That tactical awareness is what allows Silva to open her illustrious arsenal and puts pen to paper on the tale of the end of the fight.

2:37 on the clock the foot shuffle bait appears again. Silva bounces out of the pocket and launches another check left hook as she slips the left hand from Leonardo. The check left hook stuns Leonardo, straightening her up. The second left hook comes right after dropping Leonardo to the mat, who bounces right up unto an attempted single leg. Silva brings the head inside, and sprawls her way to safety very well. After a post on the back of the head allows Silva to disengage. Two right high kicks and a left high kick forces Leonardo to attempt to circle out.

A stalking Silva tracks her down and lands a crushing right hand. The final left high kick rocks Leonardo yet again and referee Kerry Hatley calls a stop to the contest.

A prospect at 125lb is emerging.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.