Bruno Silva is fighting at UFC Vegas 29 next month. You may have heard. Sportskeeda sat down for a quick chat with the Brazilian ahead of his promotional debut. And it's at this point in the article that I expect some readers to go back and carefully scan the words 'promotional debut'.
'But hold on,' you're thinking, 'Bruno Silva is a UFC veteran at this stage.' If you're talking about the 'Bulldog' of the flyweight division, then you're correct. We're talking about a different Bruno Silva, a middleweight nicknamed 'Blindado', who we're going to get to know over the course of this article.
There may be a period of adaptation to get used to a new Bruno Silva (who's, in fact, a few months older than his namesake) being on the block. We expect that imposter Spiderman meme to make an appearance on Twitter during his fight. Brazil is a big country, and we would put money on there being two or three other Bruno Silvas out there - maybe more - breathing air and pumping blood.
Side-note for the anoraks: Bruno Silva did previously compete on The Ultimate Fighter Brazil in season three of that show. Filmed back in 2016, he lost a heavyweight exhibition bout against Vitor Miranda.
Now, while you check your passport to double-check that your name isn't also Bruno Silva, we'll give an overview of 'Blindado' before cracking into the interview. A 31-year-old middleweight, Silva made waves in Russia when the UFC came calling after a four-fight win streak culminated in championship gold with M-1.
That was back in late 2018. Now able to call the UFC his home, Silva was preparing for a summer 2019 debut when disaster struck - USADA slapped him with a two-year ban. His drug test picked up a prohibited substance, and although Silva protested his innocence - that's not me, he said - he had to wait out the ban.
Now the wait is almost over, and Wellington Turma is about to put his compatriot to the test. We finally get to know if the real Bruno Silva will please stand up.
Sportkeeda's chat with Bruno Silva
Sportskeeda: How did the move to the UFC transpire?
Bruno Silva: I was five years at the door of the UFC, but it never worked out to sign the contract. Then in 2019, after four knockouts in a row and three knockouts in Russia, I finally signed with the UFC.
Sportskeeda: What is your foundational martial art, and how would you describe your fighting style to new fans?
Bruno Silva: I am a fighter of the old version. I have 16 knockouts and 19 victories. I seek the knockout in all rounds; I am aggressive.
Sportskeeda: Your last fight was in November 2018. What was the reason for the long period of inactivity?
Bruno Silva: I had a problem with USADA. I spent a lot of money to prove my innocence, but USADA doesn't impose itself. They want you to take over, and I would never assume something I didn't do.
I didn't use it, but I was suspended for two years. I have my conscience clear, and that's why the UFC believed in me, supported me, and didn't fire me. But this is over now, and as I always go over the top this time, it will be no different.
Sportskeeda: Do you feel you have improved since your last fight? And if so, how?
Bruno Silva: I did four rounds of a war against an undefeated Russian in the last fight, and I knocked him out in the fourth round. In two years, my jiu-jitsu and my wrestling evolved a lot. I don't do camps because I am a 100 per cent athlete. I train all year round for those two years.
Sportskeeda: The UFC houses a lot of Brazilian fighters. Do you know any of them?
Bruno Silva: Yes.
Sportskeeda: What do you think of Wellington Turman as a fighter? Why do you think you will be able to beat him?
Bruno Silva: I've fought submission with him, won on points, I don't care about him. In fact, I don't care about any opponents. I train to do my best. I train to improve my mental and my physical part. I train just thinking about myself.
Sportskeeda: What do you think of the quality of the middleweight division, and where do you feel you fit?
Bruno Silva: Middleweight, in my opinion, is one of the toughest categories in the UFC. The top 15 only has hard fights and outside of the top 15 too. But I like challenges. I am a champion in Russia, and I will work to get that belt [here too].
Sportskeeda: How do you see the title rematch between Israel Adesanya and Marvin Vettori panning out at UFC 263?
Bruno Silva: Neither fighter inspires me. For me, it doesn't matter who wins.