Joaquim Silva believes he can handle Arman Tsarukyan the next time they enter the cage. After defeating a “very tough” Clay Guida, the fighter has found new confidence in facing the Armenian-Russian opponent who defeated him in June.

Joaquim Silva defeated Clay Guida in their lightweight bout at the UFC on ESPN 52 event last weekend. Both fighters consumed all rounds of the fight, with Silva winning via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28). Silva said he wanted to deliver a finish but noted that the opponent was challenging.

“I’m surprised because he was very strong,” said Silva during the post-fight press conference of the event. “I mean, more strong. Very strong. In the second round, I was feeling my energy a little down and Clay’s going up. I was like, ‘What the heck?’ He’s a very tough guy.

“Clay Guida is a very tough guy, a lot of experience in the UFC, 41 years old. This guy’s a very tough guy. Fight for three rounds, same cardio, very strong guy. … I’m feaking happy for a win. In my mind, I should’ve finished the fight, but Clay is a very tough guy.”

Despite not making a finish, Silva is convinced that his victory over the old fighter granted him the credibility of having a rematch with Tsarukyan.

“When I accepted the fight for Arman, I had four-and-a-half weeks for training,” said Silva. “And then him training for three months to fight Moicano. But we’re passed that. This is a new moment in my life. … I think I would win (a rematch vs. Tsarukyan). Right now, because I fought him, I know his game. He has a great cardio, good wrestling, and good striking, too. But I have a plan for him.”

To recall, Tsarukyan was supposed to face Renato Moicano at UFC Vegas 75. However, an injured Moicano was pushed out of the bout, and the UFC decided to replace him with Silva. The Brazilian lasted until Round 3 but was defeated by Tsarukyan via TKO (strikes) at 3:25 of the round.

Prior to the said fight, many were already voicing out the unimpressive matchmaking of UFC between the two, saying the unranked Silva was an “underwhelming” opponent for Tsarukyan. With this, while Silva thinks he now makes the cut to face Tsarukyan again, some might still view the idea of the rematch as “awful.”

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