Here’s the latest batch of SILVA scores to come out, with a bit of commentary on each fighter.
IN THIS POST
- Vitor Belfort
- Daniel Cormier
- Eduardo Dantas
- Jussier da Silva
- Nate Diaz
- Nick Diaz
- Jake Ellenberger
- Johny Hendricks
- Frank Mir
- Tyson Nam
- Dennis Siver
Vitor Belfort – SILVA Score: 75.20
Ladies and gentlemen, the next challenger to Jon Jones’s title. Obviously, the circumstances leading to the selection of Belfort were quite unique and difficult, but that doesn’t mean Belfort isn’t an underwhelming selection. The thing Belfort has going for him is the same thing Dan Henderson had going for him – serious knockout power. Unfortunately for Belfort, he’s historically had difficulty with wrestlers, and I highly doubt that Jones is going to stand and strike with Belfort, and give him a chance to score that KO. I see Jones taking Belfort down and eventually winning by TKO or submission.
Daniel Cormier – SILVA Score: 86.77
This blog has never failed to sing Cormier’s praises, and the latest edition of SILVA is no exception. Unlike the last version, however, Cormier is not the #1 rated heavyweight – instead, he’s in a virtual tie with Cain Velasquez for #2. But here you have the best wrestler in the heavyweight division, and one who’s developed a quality striking game. Oh, and in his fight against Josh Barnett, he showed he knows what he’s doing in the submission game as well, as the dangerous Barnett was never too close to catching Cormier in a submission attempt. If you’re looking for a heavyweight to beat Junior dos Santos, I think Cormier has the best chance of anybody.
Eduardo Dantas – SILVA Score: 79.22
One of the themes of my analysis on this blog is the idea that one loss does not break a fighter’s career. Dantas really should have been able to beat Tyson Nam, but getting caught as Dantas did is hardly the most shocking upset ever in MMA. The open question is whether the Nam loss is Dantas’s “Matt Serra” moment, or if it’s an indicator of things to come. After watching the fight, it seems Dantas’s biggest error was overconfidence, something that hopefully will be corrected with proper coaching. The point is this: Dantas is still rated as the top bantamweight in the world by SILVA. You can decide whether that’s right or not, but Dantas is a greatly talented fighter whose career isn’t ruined by this one loss.
Jussier da Silva – SILVA score: 54.47
“Formiga” will be making his UFC debut soon, against John Dodson, in a fight highly anticipated by hardcore fans. His SILVA score might seem relatively low, but it’s actually quite high for the flyweight division, rating only below Joseph Benavidez and Demetrious Johnson. Da Silva does have a loss to Ian McCall on his record, but has more than made up for it with wins over Mamoru Yamaguchi, Danny Martinez, and Shinichi Kojima. Given how thin the flyweight division is, I anticipate “Formiga” will earn a title shot in the UFC relatively quickly.
Nate Diaz – SILVA Score: 71.04
SILVA has been VERY slow to warm up to Nate Diaz, who has recently been on a terrific run, but before that, had lost to wrestlers repeatedly. But perhaps Diaz deserves more respect from SILVA? Two of his five UFC losses were by split decision, and two others were to welterweights in Rory MacDonald and Dong Hyun Kim. Still, it’s hard for me to give Diaz a great chance in his upcoming title fight against Benson Henderson, a fighter who is a good wrestler on top of being a good striker and grappler. If Diaz’s fight history is any indication, though, it figures to be a very exciting and competitive fight.
Nick Diaz – SILVA Score: 82.64
The other Diaz – Nick – is received more warmly by SILVA, but he also has historically had problems with wrestlers. And as I have pointed out before, Diaz hasn’t faced a true wrestler since… Gleison Tibau? Sean Sherk? In the welterweight division, Diaz will eventually have no choice but to prove he can win a fight against somebody who will take him down. But against the diet of strikers and brawlers he’s been fed, Diaz has been fantastic, even with the close decision loss to Carlos Condit back in February.
Jake Ellenberger – SILVA Score: 80.84
“The Juggernaut” certainly qualifies as one wrestler, and along with Johny Hendricks, has the most striking power in the division. He showed it early in his last fight, against Martin Kampmann, but that fight also showed a lack of efficiency out of Ellenberger. After knocking Kampmann down early, Ellenberger settled into a top control game that completely failed to capitalize on Kampmann being hurt. Ellenberger definitely has the talent to be a championship contender, but I’m not sure if he has the fight IQ.
Johny Hendricks – SILVA Score: 88.87
There are some out there saying Hendricks is overrated, and will lose to Martin Kampmann. Maybe Hendricks will lose, but I do favor him to beat Kampmann, and I don’t think he’s overrated. Take some of the better wrestlers at welterweight – Josh Koscheck, Jon Fitch, Mike Pierce. Improve their striking technique a tad. Then add a ton of knockout power. That’s Johny Hendricks, and while I wouldn’t pick him to beat a healthy Georges St-Pierre, I’ll pick him to beat any other fighter at 170 pounds.
Frank Mir – SILVA Score: 68.75
With his recent knockout loss to Junior dos Santos, it feels like Mir’s career has run its course. He’s been in the UFC for what seems like an eternity – besides B.J. Penn, who had to be coaxed out of retirement, I can’t think of an active UFC fighter whose UFC career began earlier than Mir’s*. Now, Mir will be headed over to Strikeforce, where he’ll have to find a way to submit Daniel Cormier. I highly doubt Mir will offer anything that Josh Barnett didn’t.
Tyson Nam – SILVA Score: 35.81
That’s right… Tyson Nam rates 44 points lower than Eduardo Dantas despite just knocking out the Bellator champion. I’ll simply say that just as one loss doesn’t define the career of Dantas, one win doesn’t define the career of Tyson Nam. And make no mistake about it – Dantas is Nam’s only win against a top 50 bantamweight fighter. The way SILVA is designed, it will want Nam to prove he can beat a quality opponent again before it gives him too much credit.
Dennis Siver – SILVA Score: 72.80
Siver is one of the better featherweights in the UFC, but I don’t think he’s going to rise any higher. Siver is a good striker, and has a strong base, but he doesn’t possess elite-level skills. I would say that Siver’s narrow decision victory against Diego Nunes is a great indicator of how good he is – an above-average, quality UFC featherweight, but not a serious title challenger.
*I thought of one! Vladimir Matyushenko. …I think my point stands.