Interview: Jacob Silva

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“I hope Joe brings it, because I know I will bring it.”

Jacob Silva

Written By: Eric Hostetter

If you looking for a fighter that has the motor similar to that of a top UFC Bantamweight contender Urijah Faber at the local level, look no further than Jacob Silva of Silverback MMA. Jacob’s intensity and ferocity, much like Tasmanian Devil, at 125 lbs is matched only by a few guys in the city and it has earned him the nickname “Animal” by his fellow teammates. Jacob squares off in a title fight against Joe Trevino at the Legacy Amateur Series event at the House of Blues, February 18th.

TCD.net: How did you get started in MMA?

Jacob Silva: Well, it really all started from me watching it on TV. Each time I watched an event, by the end of it, I was saying to myself and my brothers, “I can see myself doing that.”

They replied back to me saying, “No, you’re too small.  You can’t do that.”

My friend David Armas (he has been one of my best friends since 7th grade) fights and I saw that he had his first fight a few months ago, and after that I started to talk to him about getting started in training. I took the plunge, went through with what I’ve been telling myself, I can do this (MMA) all on my own, and finally joined a gym. The first gym I joined was Sam Hoger’s gym. I really wanted to prove to myself that I could be a MMA fighter.

I stayed there for a little while, but I felt like I really didn’t fit in very well over there at Sam’s gym and decided to talk to David about joining Silverback and eventually decided to change my home gym to here. I feel that this was a good for me, for one it helped out my expenses on gas because I drive a ’78 Chevy pickup truck. I can now walk to the gym to train and I feel a lot closer to all of my teammates here at Silverback. I think that is really the biggest thing. We are just all one big family here and I really like that. I’ve been training here for 6 months now and I have enjoyed every second of it. I feel that Silverback, to me, is a second home.

TCD.net: Since you say that you got your original motivation from watching the sport on TV, was there specific fighter(s) that really caught your eye and helped inspire you to do what you are doing now?

Jacob: Urijah Faber.

TCD.net: Man, I was just about to say that after watching your training session before this interview. Your motor really reminded me of him.

Jacob: Haha! Yeah, my body and my tempo is very similar to his. And believe it or not, before I got my current haircut style, I use to have braids kind of like his. I had to cut them though, because over at Hoger’s gym, I got caught in a clinch and I couldn’t get out of it because my training partner was able to grab and hold on to my pony tail.

TCD.net: No more long hair after that eh?

Jacob: No more!

[laughter]

TCD.net: So from personal experience, you are recommending that fighter do not have long hair when they get into the cage?

Jacob: Definitely. We had a guy come in yesterday to train with us, and he had long hair. Same thing happened to him too. He got caught in a clench and couldn’t get out.

TCD.net: Do you get the chance to roll around Derrick Lewis or Larry Crowe on nearly a day to day basis? If so what is like to face someone that is probably 100 lbs, or more, heavier than you?

Jacob: I am the smallest guy here out of everybody. Everyone that I roll with, I am giving up 20, 30 to 50 lbs, until I get to Derrick. I know that he is the champ and all, but this one time I was rolling with him and I got him into an armbar. I was thinking to myself, “YES! I got him!” While I was holding the armbar, Derrick just looked at me square in the eyes and picked me up with one arm over his head, and I am not thinking to myself, “…. ARE YOU SERIOUS?! Well crap, this didn’t work.” He just picked me up like a rag doll and then shortly after put me in a kimura. Let’s just say Derrick, Coach Tony, and pretty much everyone else in the gym were laughing after that.

TCD.net: That’s absolutely hilarious. Is there a particular training routine(s) that you not only enjoy doing but know will pay dividends in the long run?

Jacob: We do a gauntlet type rolling where it is 5 guys again 1 person, with no breaks given. Going through all of my teammates, of different sizes, abilities, and techniques, I feel is really preparing me for a real match in terms of just going all out all of the time with no rest. This is just pushing me to my maximum and beyond.

TCD.net: Tell us a bit of your thoughts on your upcoming match against Joe Trevino for the 125lb Amateur Title?

Jacob: I’ve seen only one fight of his on film, and he won that match with a guillotine after a take down. I don’t know who he fought, if he was a good fighter or not, but Joe looks like a tough guy. I am not going to sit here and say that I am going to win or lose, but I am going to say that this is will be a good fight. I hope Joe brings it, because I know I will bring it.

If I win though, it is not only a credit to me, but it also says that I have a really strong gym because I am facing someone that has more experience than me. Remember I have only been training for 6 months. Yeah we don’t have all the bells and whistles that other gyms have, but here we train hard, we train to fight, and we train to win.

TCD.net: Are you feeling any pre-fight jitters since this is a title fight?

Jacob: Not at the moment. All of my friends and family are asking me about that, but I am not feeling it yet. I’m sure the night of the fight I will feel it. One reason is that I am going to have a lot of family there. My great-grandma had 16 kids.

TCD.net: WOW!

Jacob: So yeah I am going to be fighting in front of a lot of family that are going to be there. I think that will add a little nervousness and pressure on to me, but that is not necessarily a bad thing.

Also too, you always get nervous when you don’t know what is about to happen. No one really knows how a fight is really going to go until it happens. So I suppose that can make anyone a little nervous at any level.

TCD.net: Very true, sir. Where do you see yourself in 2 years as a fighter?

Jacob: Right now I am going to school to become a firefighter. I have three uncles in my family that are firefighters or paramedics. So it is kind of in my blood to be just like my uncles and be a firefighter. So that is one of my goals.

As a fighter, as I said before, I started to do this to prove a point. If my fighting career goes further, then it goes further. I do want to keep on fighting and be a firefighter at the same time. I can see myself doing this professionally, but I have to always think about my family too and their future. This doesn’t last forever.

TCD.net: What would you rather have, Fight of the Night or Submission of the Night honors?

Jacob: I would rather have Fight of the Night honors because people are coming there to see a fight and be entertained. If a match ends fast with a submission, any random fan or person that actually watched the match will probably forget your name because it wasn’t really memorable. At least not as memorable as a back and forth war between two fighters that end up winning Fight of the Night. People want to see a fight and if they remember me, or anyone for that matter, that puts on a great fight, they are going to want to come back and see that fighter fight again. To me a fight is more interesting to see than a quick tapout.

TCD.net: More entertainment value for you dollar is what you are saying then?

Jacob: Totally.

TCD.net: FotN or Knock Out of the Night?

Jacob: I would rather have the quick knockout and get the KOotN.

TCD.net: Wait a second, what about getting your name remembered for putting on a good show for the fans?

Jacob: There is nothing more entertaining than seeing a knock out. Everyone will always remember your name after you get one of those. While I still want fight of the night, but I want to get a knock out when I am in the cage. If I am able to get both in the same night, that would be awesome.

TCD.net: I guess there is nothing wrong with having your cake and eating it too. Is there anyone you would like to thank or give a shout out to?

Jacob: My best friend Cody Harrell who is fighting next month so go and watch him fight if you can! Derrick Lewis, who is going to let me put my belt under here on the rack in the front part of our gym. Coach Tony, is like a father figure for me. All of my friends and family, and everyone here at Silverback, we are just like family and I love you all.

TCD.net: Thank you, Jacob, for your time. Best of luck to you in your upcoming match against Joe.

Jacob: Thanks for having me.

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