Interview: Jacob Silva

I think you’ll see a different fight this time than the one you saw before.

Jacob Silva

Interview by: Lance Edwards

One fighter who has made a big impression over the last year on the Houston 125lb amateur division is Jacob Silva. In his first fight, he took on the more experienced Joe Trevino and took him to a close decision. Silva’s performance was one of the most impressive debut’s I have seen. This weekend at Cage Combat 5, Silva will have the opportunity to fight Joe again for the title Cage Combat 125lb title.

TCD: Jacob, how’s the fight preparation been going?

Silva: It’s been going great, it might be the best camp so far. The fighters I’ve fought so far have been different sorts of fighters, Alex Ramirez was a good ground guy. When I fought Manny I felt a whole lot stronger than him. It may have been his weight cut, when I saw him before the weigh ins I never thought he was going to make weight, but he did.  I’ve been training with the guys at Silverback, the last couple of weeks I’ve been training with Nate Garza, trhis time I see the fight going my way.

TCD: You fought against Joe in your debut fight and went the distance.

Silva: You know I’d only been in one fight my whole life and I lost that. I’m not a fighter; I just really like the competition. I joined Silverback to improve my cardio for Fire Academy. During my time training I was asked if I wanted to fight, Joe had had fights already, and I wasnt6 sure, but they had faith in me and I thought if they thought I could win I probably could. Training cardio turned into learning to fight.

For the first month really I just did cardio, then for the next four months everyone kicked my ass. I didn’t know how to fight; I know a whole lot more now than I did then.  Joe was good, but I think if I’d have had one fight under my belt I would have been more comfortable. I got caught in two triangles I think, some stupid stuff that I wouldn’t get caught in now, that would have been prevented by having a fight. It’s completely different sparring in a gym, to fighting in front of a load of people, I wasn’t ready for it. As I said if I’d have fought before though, I wouldn’t have been as nervous as I was. I think you’ll see a different fight this time than the one you saw before.

I’ve worked a lot more on my takedown defense, and improved in a few different areas. My cardio is still great; in fact I think it is even better. Since this fight will be going five rounds, I’ll need it and I’m ready. We thought before it would be a five round fight, but it was three, I don’t think Joe was ready for a fourth round last time, but I know that this time he will have been training for five rounds and will have been training just as hard as me.

TCD: So you also attend Fire academy?

Silva: That’s right; I’ve just finished my first semester. I fight on Friday and on Saturday morning class starts at 7am. I had a test after I fought Manny; I got in at 2am and was up at 6am to go to class. I was exhausted and couldn’t keep my eyes open. My Captain, captain Span, looked at me and shook his head. I showed him my belt and told him how the Academy had helped me win and he congratulated me. My captain has helped me get ready with the cardio, we run up six flights of stairs in equipment, do pushups and sit ups all the time. It’s really hot in the gear, but it helps.

TCD: So what after this fight?

Silva: After this fight Ricky Turcios is fighting Joe Trevino for his belt at Legacy. I really wanted that fight, and Ricky has the chance. I think Ricky won’t beat Joe though, so I would really like it if me and Joe met for a third fight. I don’t have another fight scheduled and I’m not planning on going pro anytime soon. Ricky hasn’t fought anyone of Joe’s level and I think Joe will handle Ricky. If Joe loses I’m more than happy to fight Ricky. The only thing Ricky might have on me is reach, I’ve met him before and he’s tall, but who knows what will happen.

TCD: Now I know you also have a family.

Silva: I have a year and a half old daughter with my girlfriend, and we’ve been together four years.

TCD: How do you manage it all?

Silva: You have no idea, I train in the mornings, I have school and I work as well. I probably see my girlfriend two hours a day, I’m lucky because she is so supportive of me. I work, and come in at 6pm; I then get home at 4am. Every day she calls me to get me up to train, if she didn’t call me I’d probably only get up in time two days a week because I’m so tired, and if I don’t pick up she blows up the telephone <laughs>.  She’s really supportive of me and I wouldn’t be able to do it without her.

TCD: Is it true your brother is fighting on the card as well?

Silva: My brother Leo Shaffer is actually also fighting on the card. He’s opening the evening of fights, and I’ll be closing it, which is pretty cool. He did taekwondo and kickboxing for about a year and then stopped because of school and work. I brought him down to meet Tony before and he started training. He’s really strong, much stronger than me. He’s had street fights, but this is his first fight in a cage. I hope the crowd doesn’t overwhelm him.

TCD: Anyone you’d like to thank?

Silva: for this opportunity; Tony, he’s always on me, so precise and because of that I’m much better than I would be otherwise. Captain Larry Span at The Academy, he is a big help, and of course all the fighters at the gym.  Um, Scotty, my brother, there are so many people, and of course my girlfriend; there’s Nate, Romero and everyone at Silverback. Of course there’s Eric, he gave me the chance to fight Manny, and he believed in me and gave me the opportunity. I also want to thank Joe for fighting me again.