Nguyen, Da Silva Set to Square Off For Featherweight Gold in Elite Striking Matchup at Rise FC 5

Two of B.C.’s most promising up-and-coming featherweights are in search of Rise FC supremacy.

John Nguyen (2-0) will meet Radley Da Silva (1-1) at Rise FC 5 to determine the first featherweight champion for Rise FC on Saturday night in Chilliwack, B.C.

Just two fights into his professional career, backed by a 13-fight amateur career, Nguyen, 27, said he’s honoured to receive a title shot so soon in his career, and will look to prove why he was the right choice for the opportunity.

John Nguyen
John Nguyen lands a straight left to Ryan Williams at Havoc FC 13. (Photo by Joel Griffith)

“It means a lot because I’m here to try and prove I’m one of the best,” said Nguyen in an interview with MMA Empire.

“In my amateur career, I wanted to fight the top guys, the best guys, so once I turned pro I’d be ready to fight anybody. To fight for the title against someone like Radley is a great opportunity and a great challenge, and I’m ready to face it.”

With just one professional win on his record, it’s been questioned why Da Silva, 24, is receiving a title shot so soon in his career.

Da Silva said he knows exactly why he’s been given the championship opportunity and is looking forward to showcasing why he deserves to be in this spot.

“I’ve been doing martial arts since I was five years old and had my amateur debut when I was 16, so I’ve been in the game for almost 10 years now,” said Da Silva in an interview with MMA Empire.

“I hate to sound like this, but if you ask anyone that’s trained with me about me, they’ll tell you I’m one of the most talented guys they’ve ever seen. I understand why they’re giving me the title shot, and I understand why some people might be confused about why they’re giving me the shot, but if you know me or trained with me before, you know I’m probably one of B.C.’s best kept secrets.”


Experience Shows

It’s been over six years since Da Silva last stepped in the cage, while Nguyen has competed 15 times in that same span.

Although he knows Da Silva hasn’t been just sitting on the couch for the past six years, Nguyen said a layoff like that is likely to play a factor, especially given how active he’s been himself.

“I feel like I have experience, I’ve fought around the world with top-level guys, and I’ve been active,” said Nguyen.

“I’ve dedicated my life to this sport from day one, so I believe it’s going to play a factor.”

Nguyen has 15-combined professional and amateur fights compared to Da Silva’s three that are on record.

But despite holding the significant experience edge over Da Silva, Nguyen he’s not taking him lightly and will treat him as an opponent with the same experience as himself.

“You can’t underestimate anybody. He’s coming in with a different style, but I have no doubt in my skills, and we’re going to find out who’s a better fighter on fight day,” said Nguyen.

Bred For Competition

In a lot of cases for a fighter returning to competition after six years away cage rust, anxiety, and nerves tend to creep into the system.

But for Da Silva, he said being nervous isn’t something that exists in his DNA.

Radley Da Silva
Radley Da Silva in action against Joe Pirrotta at BFL 25. (Photo by Cageside Photography)

“Deep down, nerves for me in performing just aren’t a thing. I’ve been doing Capoeira since I was five years old and competing since I was five years old. I’m so used to performing in front of crowds that it’s just second nature,” said Da Silva.

“It’s not for some people, but for me I’m just so accustomed to pressure and performing that I feel better when the pressure’s on.”

In addition to training at Checkmat Vancouver, Da Silva spends a lot of time at his family’s gym, Axe Capoeria Vancouver.

With the unique unpredictability of a Capoeira striker like himself, Da Silva said it’s going to be an approach Nguyen has never seen before, and one he wouldn’t have been able to emulate throughout his training camp.

“The main thing he’s going to find out is just the movement and distance is just world-class, and something he’s never seen before,” said Da Silva.

“I’ve trained with guys that have trained all over the world, and when they train with me they’re just confused. There’s a lot of Capoeira fighters around the world, but our family’s style of Capoeira is tailored to fighting. It’s a very aggressive style of Capoeira that’s more tailored towards combat.”

Nguyen’s Shoutouts

“I’d like to thank all my coaches and teammates at Tristar Vancouver and Dynamic MMA, Strike Recovery, Nicholas Ugoalah, Devin Kirk, Mikhail Basharymov, and Ibby Ali.” Follow Nguyen on social media: FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM

Da Silva’s Shoutouts

“I’d like to thank MMA Empire for having me on.” Follow Da Silva on social media: FACEBOOKINSTAGRAM

Fight preview brought to you by Calvin Tedesco – Personal Training in Chilliwack, B.C.