||06-01-2012 11:14 AM
Bellator signs Brazilian bantamweight Rafael Silva
Bantamweight Rafael "Morcego" Silva will bring a nine-fight winning streak Stateside after signing with Bellator.*
The promotion on Thursday announced the acquisition of Silva (17-3 MMA, 0-0 BFC) for its 135-pound division. The seven-year pro trains with the Renovacao Fight Team in Brazil that includes fellow Bellator fighters Maiquel Falcao, Luis Nogueira, Genair da Silva and Ricardo Tirloni.*
"Signing with Bellator is by far the best thing that ever happened to me," Silva stated. "Itís a chance of showing the world what I can do inside the cage. My manager always tells me how great of an atmosphere Bellator has and I canít wait to be part of it."*
Silva's nine-fight run includes seven stoppages Ė five knockouts and a pair of submissions. In 2012 alone, Silva is 3-0 with three first-round knockouts Ė including a seven-second head-kick win in his native Brazil, where all 20 of his pro fights have taken place.*
After starting his career 1-2, Silva has won 16 of his past 17 fights with just three decisions. Notable among Silva's wins is a unanimous-decision victory in December 2009 over current UFC flyweight John Lineker.*
Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney praised Renovacao head trainer Marcelo Brigadeiro, whose lute livre grappling style has started to turn out a heavy presence on the Bellator roster.*
"Marcelo Brigadeiro's RFT is developing a spectacular group of Brazilian fighters," Rebney stated. "Rafael joins 'Big Rig,' Ricardo, Genair and Luis who are all further establishing lute livre's position in the MMA world."*
Silva said his sights are on Bellator bantamweight champion Eduardo Dantas, who won the title against Zach Makovsky in April with a second-round submission victory.
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