UFC prospect Erick Silva knows he has a long way to go to become one of the best fighters in the world.

That’s because Silva sees those elite fighters on a daily basis, training alongside the likes of UFC middleweight champ Anderson Silva, ex-Strikeforce title-holder Rafael Cavalcante and the Nogueira brothers, Antonio Rodrigo and Antonio Rogerio.

Saturday night, Silva can take another step in the right direction when he meets Carlo Prater at UFC 142: Aldo vs. Mendes from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil’s HSBC Arena. Silva-Prater is scheduled to be part of the pay-per-view main card, and is one of two all-Brazilian matches.

“(Manager Alex) Davis said he was a personal friend of the Nogueira brothers, so I asked him for a meeting with my idols,” said Silva, in a recent interview with the UFC’s website. “But I never imagined I would train in the same gym or would fight on the same card (UFC 134). That said, the emotion I felt when we fought on the same day back in August was indescribable.”

Silva, who is 27 years old and sports a 13-1 record with one no-contest, won his UFC debut in the same building he will compete in on Saturday. Matched up with Luis Ramos, Silva came out strong scored a knockout in just 40 seconds, much to the delight of the Brazilian faithful.

“The sensation was great,” Silva said. “It was the first ever knockout of UFC 134, and with the crowd screaming – I can’t describe it. I was very well prepared, more than I ever was. I showed the reason I was signed to the UFC.”

UFC 142: Aldo vs. Mendes will feature a UFC featherweight title match between Jose Aldo and Chad Mendes. In the co-main event Vitor Belfort meets Anthony Johnson.


MMATraining Take: Silva is a young gun with explosive, dynamic knockout power. In Prater, he will likely have another stand-up war, which should delight the crowd. Training with the likes of Anderson Silva and the rest of that gym will only make the younger Silva an even better fighter.