Three things to know about Alex 'Little Rock' Silva, Latest Others News - The New Paper

Three things to know about Alex 'Little Rock' Silva

This coming Friday, 7 December, Alex “Little Rock” Silva will start his quest back to the ONE Strawweight World Championship.

The former titleholder is scheduled to face Shooto Strawweight World Champion Yosuke “Tobizaru” Saruta at ONE: Destiny Of Champions, live from the Axiata Arena in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

It will be the Singapore-based Brazilian's first mixed martial arts bout since losing the gold to Yoshitaka “Nobita” Naito via split decision at ONE: Grit And Glory last May.

Before the Evolve MMA representative welcomes the Japanese sensation to ONE Championship, here are three things you should know about him.

Silva Is A BJJ World Champion

Silva first dabbled in kung fu and capoeira when he was younger, but watching Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu legend Royce Gracie motivated him to pursue “the gentle art.”

He wound up having a stellar career in the sport, as he competed in more than 250 matches and won the Copa Do Mundo BJJ World Championship.

A few years after claiming that prestigious achievement, he made his professional mixed martial arts debut in September 2011 and has become one of the most dangerous grapplers in the strawweight division.

That is evident of his 7-2 record, with six of his victories coming via submission.

Leandro Issa Helped Him Move To Singapore

Silva’s compatriot and fellow BJJ world champion Leandro “Brodinho” Issa found his way to Evolve in January 2009 and made his ONE debut two years later.

Perhaps enamored by the values of the promotion, life in Singapore, and the world-class training at Evolve, Issa invited his friend to join him halfway across the world. “Little Rock” graciously accepted the offer, and he has since found a second home in “The Lion City.”

The Brazilian acknowledges that being so far away from his homeland, family, and friends has been a sacrifice, but it has been well worth it as he is now living his dream. 

He even gets to train with one of his heroes, former ONE Lightweight World Champion Shinya Aoki.

He Made His ONE Debut As A Flyweight

Silva shocked the world when he became the first man to defeat Yoshitaka “Nobita” Naito in December 2017 to become the ONE Strawweight World Champion.

Although he has been a dominant force in the division, “Little Rock” did not have a dream start to his tenure in the organization.

In his promotional debut at ONE: Battle Of Heroes in February 2012, he competed at flyweight and lost to Geje Eustaquio — who is, coincidentally, the reigning ONE Flyweight World Champion — via unanimous decision.

After tasting defeat, Silva dropped down a weight class, and he beat his next six opponents en route to capturing the World Title.