Brazilian contender Michel Silva has earned his lightweight title shot in 2018 and will fight for the belt headlining the first show of 2019 WKG & M-1 Challenge 100 in China on January 26th.
Michel, congratulations on your upcoming title fight. Did you know that you will get your title shot after you won the previous fight?
I'm very excited to fight for the title and the championship belt gives me a huge motivation. After I won the last fight I was hoping that the promotion will give me my title shot and now I'm going to enjoy every moment of it.
You started your way in M-1 Global with two loses. How did you recover and made it all the way to the top of the division?
After two loses I knew I had to change something. I moved to another city, joined Evolucao Thai team and evolved as a fighter. Now I am a part of a great team and as a result of our efforts I have three consecutive victories and soon I'm going to add a belt to the collection of my achievements.
Before your current win streak, you have never won by submission, what has changed since then?
Of course I prefer stand-up fighting, I enjoy it very much, but I'm also not a beginner in BJJ. Actually I'm a BJJ black belt of the 1st degree and in Evolucao Thai coaches helped me to improve my ground game even more, so as a result I won two of my last three fights by submission.
You are the tallest lightweight on the roster of the promotion. Is it difficult for you to make 70 kg being 188 cm (6'2") tall?
For me weight cut is not a problem. I just need a three-week diet to fight in lightweight and I know I can also be successful in other divisions, either 77 or 66 kg. If I suffer a bit more during the weight cut, I can make 66 kg and fight the best opponents in the featherweight division.
Some people think that Roman Bogatov is going to have an advantage in wrestling and your advantage is going to be your striking, do you agree?
Bogatov has a solid wrestling, but I'm confident in my BJJ and I know I can make him tap out. In stand-up game advantage will also be on my side, I have 200 cm reach, so I'll be able to control him. I already added the first loss to the unbeaten records of two Russian prospects in my last two fights and I'm going to do the same thing with my next opponent, finishing him and capturing the belt in China on January 26th!