Heading into the end of 2010, things were not going well for middleweight Jay Silva. Back-to-back losses resulted in his release by the UFC, and a highlight reel knockout at the hands of Hector Lombard made for a disappointing Bellator debut.
Since then, however, Silva has righted his ship and has won two fights in a row and now has an opportunity to take a big step forward by claiming his first title at the Friday, Nov. 3, Superior Cage Combat 3 show in Las Vegas, where he faces former IFL fighter Bristol Marunde.
“I’m pretty happy about it,” Silva told MMAWeekly.com. “I’ve been wanting to get a belt for a long time. SCC is giving me the chance to fight for one, so it’s great for me.”
Silva is stepping in as a late replacement for Elvis Mutapcic, who was forced out of the bout with a knee injury. Even with only a little over a week to prepare, Silva feels he’s ready because he’d been in camp with a teammate preparing for an upcoming bout.
“Mark Munoz is one of my training partners, and I was helping him get ready for his fight (at UFC 138),” said Silva. “I’m in shape, because I know I’ve got to keep training to be ready for anything.
“I’ve been wanting to fight for a long time. I’ve been getting calls every other month to fight, but every time I say yes, the other guy says no. I’m glad that (Marunde) wants to fight me.”
If Silva has his way, Marunde will be forced to slug it out. He feels he’ll be prepared for whatever comes his way, as he’s been working hard to become a more complete fighter.
“I know this guy won’t stand up and bang with me, that’s for sure,” said Silva. “If he would, then he would be a fool. I hope he does. (If he doesn’t), I’m ready for anything.
“I’ve been training hard on everything. Everyone knows I’m a good striker, but I’ve been training a lot of wrestling with Mark, and jiu-jitsu with ‘Mayhem’ (Jason Miller) and those guys. I want to show people that I’ve developed, that I’ve got skills, and that I belong in there and I’m one of the top fighters.”
Being that his bout with Marunde is for the SCC middleweight title, Silva was asked if he would be prepared to go five rounds if need be to get the win.
“I’m hoping it will be sooner, but if it goes five rounds, I’m willing to go five rounds,” he said. “I was already helping Mark with five rounds, so I’m just going to go a little deeper now and push myself a little harder and try to put him away as fast as I can, if I can’t, I can go five rounds.”
One thing that Silva is definitely not lacking in is motivation, as provided by a member of Marunde’s family.
“On Facebook, I think his father sent a comment to me saying, ‘Good luck to you, Jay, in the cage against Bristol, but I want you to set your mark for Round 3 at 1:40, that’s when he’s going to put you to sleep.’ Now I’m really looking forward to that,” said Silva.
“Now he’s going to pay for whatever his father is talking about. By that time, if he doesn’t put me away, he’s going to pay. I’m going to hit him harder than anybody I’ve hit in my life.”
Taking a title and running his winning streak to three in a row could definitely help put Silva back on track to get to the UFC and redeem himself for previous outings, even though he says that’s not where his focus is.
“I’ve been talking to (UFC matchmaker) Joe Silva and he said he likes that I’m on a winning streak, and hopefully I’ll be back soon,” he said. “But right now I’m not thinking about the UFC. I’m thinking about the SCC. Hopefully they’ll be around a long time and will give me a home.
“Back in the day I used to think about the future too much. Now I’m going to just worry about the present. I’m doing good, and if I happen to go to the UFC, I go to the UFC, but right now all I’m worrying about is getting this belt.”