Rafael Silva (fighter)

Rafael Silva (Brazilian Portuguese: [ʁafaˈew ˈsiwvɐ]; born March 20, 1985) is a Brazilian professional mixed martial artist who most recently competed in the Bantamweight division of ONE Championship. A professional competitor since 2005, Silva has competed in his native Brazil for most of his career, but has also multiple bouts in Pancrase, where he was the Bantamweight King of Pancrase.

Rafael Silva
Vale tudo5 o.jpg
Silva locking a guillotine choke on Mika Ilmén in 2005
Born (1985-03-20) March 20, 1985 (age 35)
Lages, Santa Catarina, Brazil
Other namesMorcego
The Machine
Height5 ft 7 in (1.70 m)
Weight135 lb (61 kg; 9 st 9 lb)
Reach65 in (165 cm)
Fighting out ofLages, Santa Catarina, Brazil
TeamRenovacao Fight Team
Years active2005–present
Mixed martial arts record
By knockout8
By submission15
By decision8
By knockout2
By submission1
By decision4
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog

Mixed martial arts careerEdit

Early careerEdit

Silva made his professional MMA debut in June 2005. After going 2–2 in his first four fights, he maintained an impressive record of 18 wins and only 1 loss from 2009 to 2012. Among his notable wins was a victory over current UFC fighter John Lineker.

A long-time veteran of the national Brazilian MMA scene, Silva fought for a variety of promotions - including World Fighting Combat, Sparta MMA, Octagon MMA, Connect Fight Night, Energy Force, and Nitrix Champion Fight - before making his North American debut.

Bellator MMAEdit

In June 2012, it was announced that Silva had signed with Bellator MMA,[1] although he did not debut until a year later.

Silva entered as a participant in the 2013 Summer Series Bantamweight tournament. He faced Rodrigo Lima in the semifinals at Bellator 97 and won via submission in the third round. The finals were delayed until the fall of 2013 and he eventually faced Anthony Leone at Bellator 102. He won the fight via dominant unanimous decision to earn a title shot.

Silva was booked to face Bantamweight Champion Eduardo Dantas on March 7, 2014, but due to a knee injury, Silva was replaced by Anthony Leone at Bellator 111.[2]

Silva stepped in to replace Eduardo Dantas to face Joe Warren at Bellator 118 on May 2, 2014. The fight was scheduled for the Bellator Interim Bantamweight championship. Silva, however, missed weight and the promotion made the interim title available only if Warren were to win.[3] Silva lost the fight via unanimous decision.

Silva faced Rob Emerson on October 3, 2014 at Bellator 127.[4] He won the fight by unanimous decision.

Silva faced Darrion Caldwell at Bellator 137 on May 15, 2015.[5] He lost the fight by unanimous decision.

In June 2015, it was revealed that Silva, along with his brother Julio Cesar and 6 other fighters, were released from the promotion.[6]

Post-Bellator careerEdit

Silva returned to the Brazilian circuit and faced Derinaldo Guerra for the vacant Aspera FC Bantamweight title on September 12, 2015, winning the fight by arm-triangle choke in the first round.[7]

After two submission wins in smaller independent organizations, Silva signed with Pancrase.


In his promotional debut Silva faced Shohei Masumizu at Pancrase 276 on March 13, 2016, winning the bout via submission in the first round.

Next he faced Masakatsu Ueda at Pancrase 279 on July 24, 2016. Silva won the bout via unanimous decision.

In his third Pancrase bout Silva faced Victor Henry at Pancrase 282 on November 13, 2016. He won the fight via unanimous decision.

Three straight victories in the promotion aligned Silva to challenge the prevailing Bantamweight King of Pancrase Shintaro Ishiwatari at Pancrase 287 on May 28, 2017. He lost the title fight via unanimous decision.[8]

Later that year, Ishiwatari's title was vacated as he left Pancrase to enter Rizin Bantamweight Grand Prix, leading Silva to rematch Masakatsu Ueda for the interim Bantamweight Championship. The fight eventually happened at Pancrase 296 on May 20, 2018, Silva becoming the interim Bantamweight King of Pancrase via unanimous decision. He was subsequently promoted to undisputed Bantamweight King of Pancrase.

In the first title defense, Silva faced Kenta Takizawa at Pancrase 303 on March 17, 2019. Silva successfully defended the title, winning the fight via submission in the first round.

As the second title defense, Silva faced Yuto Hokamura at Pancrase 307 on July 21, 2019. Silva defended his title again via second round submission win.

ONE ChampionshipEdit

In October 2019, Silva's manager revealed that Silva is no longer under contract with Pancrase, and had signed a one-bout contract with ONE Championship. In his promotional debut, Silva faced Shoko Sato at ONE Championship: Century Part 2 on October 13, 2019.[9] Silva lost the round via technical knockout in the second round.[10]

Championships and accomplishmentsEdit

Mixed martial arts recordEdit

Professional record breakdown
38 matches 31 wins 7 losses
By knockout 8 2
By submission 15 1
By decision 8 4
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 31–7 Shoko Sato TKO (punches) ONE Championship: Century Part 2 October 13, 2019 2 4:30 Tokyo, Japan
Win 31–6 Yuto Hokamura Submission (head and arm choke) Pancrase 307 July 21, 2019 2 1:54 Tokyo, Japan Defended Pancrase Bantamweight Championship
Win 30–6 Kenta Takizawa Submission (rear-naked choke) Pancrase 303 March 17, 2019 1 3:12 Tokyo, Japan Defended Pancrase Bantamweight Championship
Win 29–6 Masakatsu Ueda Decision (unanimous) Pancrase 296 May 20, 2018 5 5:00 Tokyo, Japan Won Pancrase Interim Bantamweight Championship
Loss 28–6 Shintaro Ishiwatari Decision (unanimous) Pancrase 287 May 28, 2017 5 5:00 Tokyo, Japan For the Pancrase Bantamweight Championship
Win 28–5 Victor Henry Decision (unanimous) Pancrase 282 November 13, 2016 3 5:00 Tokyo, Japan
Win 27–5 Masakatsu Ueda Decision (unanimous) Pancrase 279 July 24, 2016 3 5:00 Tokyo, Japan
Win 26–5 Shohei Masumizu Submission (arm-triangle choke) Pancrase 276 March 13, 2016 1 2:58 Tokyo, Japan
Win 25–5 Ruben Hernandez Parra Submission (arm-triangle choke) TBF-The Best Fighter 1 January 9, 2016 1 1:47 Praia, Cape Verde
Win 24–5 Jeferson Vieira da Silva Submission (armbar) XFC i 13 December 5, 2015 2 1:25 Sao Paulo, Brazil
Win 23–5 Derinaldo Guerra Submission (arm-triangle choke) Aspera FC 24 September 12, 2015 1 4:03 Sao Jose, Santa Catarina, Brazil Won the vacant AFC Bantamweight Championship.
Loss 22–5 Darrion Caldwell Decision (unanimous) Bellator 137 May 15, 2015 3 5:00 Temecula, California, United States
Win 22–4 Rob Emerson Decision (unanimous) Bellator 127 October 3, 2014 3 5:00 Temecula, California, United States
Loss 21–4 Joe Warren Decision (unanimous) Bellator 118 May 2, 2014 5 5:00 Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States For the Bellator Interim Bantamweight championship.
Win 21–3 Anthony Leone Decision (unanimous) Bellator 102 October 4, 2013 3 5:00 Visalia, California, United States Bellator 2013 Summer Series Bantamweight Tournament Final.
Win 20–3 Rodrigo Lima Submission (rear-naked choke) Bellator 97 July 31, 2013 3 2:03 Rio Rancho, New Mexico, United States Bellator 2013 Summer Series Bantamweight Tournament Semifinal.
Win 19–3 Fabio Selim Submission (rear-naked choke) Sparta MMA September 29, 2012 3 3:01 Itajaí, Santa Catarina, Brazil
Win 18–3 Luciano Aranha TKO (punches) Connect Fight Night 2 July 17, 2012 1 1:56 Biguacu, Santa Catarina, Brazil
Win 17–3 Mauricio da Silva KO (head kick) Energy Force May 19, 2012 1 0:07 Navegantes, Santa Catarina, Brazil
Win 16–3 Saulo Silva KO (Superman punch) Connect Fight Night 1 March 31, 2012 1 1:15 Balneario Camboriu, Santa Catarina, Brazil
Win 15–3 Diego D'Avila TKO (punches) Nitrix Champion Fight 10 February 11, 2012 1 N/A Camboriú, Santa Catarina, Brazil
Win 14–3 Wagner Noronha Decision (split) Apocalypse Fighting Championship October 8, 2011 3 5:00 Passo Fundo, Rio Grande Do Sul, Brazil
Win 13–3 Fernando Giacometti TKO (elbows) Octagon MMA October 1, 2011 1 1:04 Itajaí, Santa Catarina, Brazil
Win 12–3 Tiago Silva KO (punch) Octagon MMA October 1, 2011 1 0:52 Itajaí, Santa Catarina, Brazil
Win 11–3 Jonatan Feitosa Submission (rear-naked choke) Centurion Mixed Martial Arts 2 July 9, 2011 3 2:42 Itajaí, Santa Catarina, Brazil
Win 10–3 Ozeias Costa Decision (unanimous) Full Heroes Battle 4 June 25, 2011 3 5:00 Paranagua, Paraná, Brazil
Win 9–3 Rogerio Goncalves Menna Submission (arm-triangle choke) World Fighting Combat: Pretorian June 11, 2011 1 2:46 Pelotas, Rio Grande Do Sul, Brazil
Loss 8–3 Diego D'Avila Submission (armbar) Nitrix Champion Fight 6 February 19, 2011 1 4:33 Brusque, Santa Catarina, Brazil
Win 8–2 Erikson Lima Submission (rear-naked choke) Centurion Mixed Martial Arts January 15, 2011 1 1:38 Balneario Camboriu, Santa Catarina, Brazil
Win 7–2 Fabio Nunes Submission (kimura) Colizeu Fight Championship November 20, 2010 1 1:02 Joaçaba, Santa Catarina, Brazil
Win 6–2 Edson da Silva Submission (triangle choke) Black Trunk Fight 1 August 14, 2010 1 N/A Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, Brazil
Win 5–2 Joilson Costelinha Submission (armbar) Nitrix Champion Fight 5 May 15, 2010 1 4:53 Balneario Camboriu, Santa Catarina, Brazil
Win 4–2 David Bad Boy Submission (rear-naked choke) Nitrix Show Fight 4 February 6, 2010 1 4:40 Balneario Camboriu, Santa Catarina, Brazil
Win 3–2 John Lineker Decision (unanimous) Warrior's Challenge 4 December 30, 2009 3 5:00 Porto Belo, Santa Catarina, Brazil
Win 2–2 Wagner Mexicano TKO (retirement) Nitrix Show Fight 3 November 14, 2009 2 N/A Itajaí, Santa Catarina, Brazil
Loss 1–2 Alessandro Cordeiro TKO (punches) Nitrix Show Fight 2 May 16, 2009 2 N/A Joinville, Santa Catarina, Brazil
Loss 1–1 Marcio Furlin Decision (split) Floripa Fight 2 April 29, 2006 3 5:00 Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, Brazil
Win 1–0 Wallid Wallid TKO (punches) X-treme Combat June 5, 2005 1 2:36 Brazil


  1. ^ Staff (2012-06-01). "Bellator signs Brazilian bantamweight Rafael Silva". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2013-10-05.
  2. ^ Bellator (2014-02-05). "With Silva Injured, Anthony Leone Steps Up To Face Bellator Bantamweight Champion Eduardo Dantas". bellator.com. Archived from the original on 2014-03-30. Retrieved 2014-02-05.
  3. ^ "Bellator 118 official weigh-in results: Silva heavy for interim title fight".
  4. ^ "Bellator 127 full fight card finalized for Pechanga Resort & Casino on Oct. 3 on Spike TV". mmamania.com. September 15, 2014.
  5. ^ Tristen Critchfield (April 15, 2015). "Darrion Caldwell-Rafael Silva Matchup Added to Bellator 137 Main Card". sherdog.com.
  6. ^ Steph Daniels (June 4, 2015). "Bellator releases Sokoudjou and 7 other fighters from their roster". bloodyelbow.com.
  7. ^ http://www.bloodyelbow.com/2015/9/14/9324625/beyond-the-octagon-bellator-frodo-khasbulaev-returns-UFC-vet-Rizzo
  8. ^ Akihiro Tatematsu (May 29, 2017). "Ishiwatari, Syuri Kondo get big wins at Pancrase 287". asiamma.com.
  9. ^ Guilherme Cruz (October 12, 2019). "Pancrase champion Rafael Silva plans to 'test the market' after ONE Century". mmafighting.com.
  10. ^ "ONE Championship 100, Part 2 results: Aung La N Sang retains in thriller". mmajunkie.com. October 13, 2019.