The big men of Las Vegas

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The Las Vegas International Open was the site of quite a few rematches, and this was the case in the black belt ultra heavy adult division as well. Thirty-three-year-old Fabiano Silva of American Top Team in Temecula, California, had some payback to return to Stephen Hall of Alliance.

Fabiano Silva / Photos: Deb Blyth

Stephen beat Fabiano last year at the same event, and it didn’t sit well with him. “He’s such a nice guy and I like him, but I had nightmares over my loss to him,” he says, “I don’t like to lose.” So Fabiano was determined to win this year, and he did. The two had one fight in their division, which Fabiano won by points, 7-2.

Fabiano says his experience this year was very pleasurable. With Fabiano being 33 and Stephen over 40, the two still look forward to competing in the adult division but know they’re not going to be able to do it forever. “We’re not young guys anymore,” Fabiano says, “We put our butts on the line in the adult division. We put our personalities out on the mat and leave it all out there. And we just did that because I’m tired! It was a fast moving match for two big guys.”

To add to the age issue, the two men also have many outside commitments that make it more difficult to train and compete all the time like many of the younger competitors. “I have three kids, a wife, and I run a gym,” Fabiano says, “I don’t have the time to train as much as others do.”

Fabiano playing half-guard

Fabiano’s favorite Jiu-Jitsu move is half-guard and he uses it as much as he can when he’s fighting. “I love it,” he says, “ I do believe it’s one of the most effective guards there is. You can transition into and out of it easily and effectively to get into other positions. I’m a big fan of Cyborg and Caio Terra’s and they’ve completely mastered this aspect of the game.”

Silva's comeuppance for last year's loss to Hall

You can see Fabiano at his professional MMA fight next week at Gladiator’s Challenge at Soboba Casino in San Jacinto, California. “It’s on August 21st,” Fabiano says, “I’m about 218 pounds right now and I have to get to 206 to fight.”

As for the Las Vegas International Open, Fabiano says, “Stephen and I are now 1-1. We are trading wins back and forth.” But with Fabiano’s competitive nature, it’s not likely he’s going to want to give it back next year.

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