Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Matt Erickson and MMA Junkie Radio

Huge favorite Josh Silveira ready for PFL war with ‘killer,’ ‘monster,’ ‘nightmare’ Ty Flores

There are plenty of high hopes around Josh Silveira heading into the PFL’s 2023 playoff season.

But the American Top Team light heavyweight has been here before. In 2022, Silveira (11-1) went into the playoffs unbeaten in his career, but was upset as a 2-1 favorite by Omari Akhmedov. This season, after two first-round stoppages in the regular season. Silveira (11-1) is the 205-pound division’s No. 1 playoff seed against Ty Flores (13-4).

The two fight on Friday’s PFL playoff opener at Boeing Center at Tech Port in San Antonio, Texas. The main card airs on ESPN and streams on ESPN+ following prelims on ESPN+.

Silveira told MMA Junkie Radio the mental hurdles in the PFL’s format help prepare him for the postseason and what he hopes is a run to the $1 million title this year.

“MMA in general is a stressful sport. Just knowing that you’re going to get locked in a cage with somebody, that’s already a stressful moment just by itself,” Silveira said. “… The physical break – I’ll get breaks. My dad will give me breaks. He’s like, ‘Hey, you’ve got to go rest.’ But it’s the mental aspect. You win a fight in the PFL and you already have another fight announced already. ‘Here’s your next opponent. This is the next guy you’re fighting right here.’ Boom, you win. Boom, you win. Boom.

“I think there’s a mental barrier sometimes where I’m just like, man, this is such a long season. I feel like I don’t get a mental break. But that’s the job. You’ve got to cope with that the best you can. You have to understand that fighting for $1 million dollars isn’t going to be Skittles and rainbows and ‘what a beautiful day it is outside.’ There’s going to be tornadoes and hurricanes and tsunamis and it’s just about being consistent – understanding that it is a long season … understanding that you’ve got to respect your body, respect how you feel, respect the moment. And just show up to the gym just getting it in – just showing up and understanding that this is a long season.”

Silveira choked out Sam Kei in the first round in April for 6 points. Against Delan Monte in June, he picked up a TKO win 90 seconds in due to a Monte injury for another 6. He was one of just three fighters across six divisions to get the max of 12 points in the regular season.

At -650, Silveira is far and away the biggest betting favorite on the card. That doesn’t mean he’s taking the fight as a walk-through to the $1 million final against the winner of Friday’s second light heavyweight semifinal between Marthin Hamlet and Impa Kasanganay.

“I think of Ty Flores as a killer ready to take me out, ready to take what’s mine, ready to embarrass me on TV, on ESPN,” Silveira said. “I take all of that very seriously. I want to prepare for this monster, this nightmare, and when I get there, I’ll make adjustments. If it is as bad as I think it is, then we’re ready. And if it’s not that, then it’s going to be a hard night for him. I’m ready. I’m a finisher, but I’m ready to fight 15 minutes. I’m ready to fight 25. I don’t give a crap.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for 2023 PFL Playoffs 1.

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.