This fight features two women in the flyweight division, each looking to position themselves to move into the top fifteen. Silva is coming off of a bounce-back win over Mara Borella and is 7-1 as a professional, her only loss coming by unanimous decision to Maryna Moroz early last year. Montana De La Rosa, a TUF veteran now training with Elevation Fight Team, comes into this fight at 11-6 following her unanimous decision loss to Viviane Araujo in September.
De La Rosa will be looking to get a bounce-back win over the dangerous Mayra Bueno Silva, who comes in at 7-1 with six finishes, five of them submissions. Montana is a finisher herself, a brown belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu with five submission victories.
In addition to her brown belt, she’s a great wrestler, a state champion and three-time all American at the high school level. On her feet De La Rosa looks to keep her distance and fight behind her jab. She’s a counter striker, but has no problem trading in the pocket. She also has the ability to move forward and pressure her opponents with volume striking.
She has very nice counter lead hook, good straights and hooks with her right hand, but does not possess any kind of knockout power. On her feet, she’s just looking to land two or three strikes for every one her opponent throws. If she finishes a fight, it happens on the ground. She’s strong and has great takedown technique.
She transitions smoothly and controls position on the ground, taking whatever her opponents give her, though she usually works for side control once she passes guard. She doesn’t do all that much damage on the ground, but she does enough to stay busy. She is looking for the submission.
Where De La Rosa has shown vulnerability in the past is to fighters with quick and powerful jabs, and who can force her to throw first and counter her attacks. It gets worse if she is unable to hold her opponents on the canvas and assert her best weapon, her jiu jitsu.
One of the better examples of opponents who have bested De La Rosa is Andrea Lee. Lee is a high-level and well educated kick boxer with a very quick jab and excellent counter-striking, and who is very tough to keep on the ground. In fact, Lee scored multiple takedowns in that fight.
Outside of that, Lee pieced Montana up with her jab, and countered with straights and hooks when Montana would move forward in response, and finished her combinations with kicks to the legs and body. Montana’s conditioning came into question in the third round, she was clearly the more weathered fighter later in the fight. Still, Montana was hunting for submissions off her back the entire third round, though very much out of desperation, knowing she was down two rounds on the scorecards.
Following that loss to Lee, De La Rosa bounced back with a unanimous decision win over Mara Borella early last year. Borella is a common opponent between De La Rosa and Silva, who defeated Borella by submission in her most recent appearance, in September of last year.
Silva is a forward moving fighter who looks to stay active with low kicks, teeps and jabs, waiting to time up counter strikes. She is aggressive and powerful, and will be the faster, more powerful, more technical, and more intelligent striker in this fight.
Silva is very effective in the Thai clinch, and can easily land high knees due to her long legs and flexibility. She is vicious on the exit with her elbows and hooks. One of the things you love to see in a favorite is aggression, and Silva certainly has that.
Silva has great takedown defense but, too often invites her opponents into her guard, because she has high-level jiu jitsu and is comfortable fighting off her back. This can pay off because she has great submissions but she likely won’t be catching a grappler of De La Rosa’s caliber in a triangle or armbar. If it goes the distance, there may be a certain stretch of this fight controlled by De La Rosa on the ground. Given that women’s fights go the full three rounds more often than not, this is a concern for Silva moneyline bettors.
I think Silva is a smart favorite to bet at a fair price, but the line is running. At time of writing she sits at -145 on most major sportsbooks. The only thing I am concerned about is De La Rosa wrestling her way to a decision victory, being that Silva is a bit too comfortable fighting off of her back, but Silva does appear to be almost, if not, as good as De La Rosa in terms of wrestling skill. De La Rosa by decision is a smart hedge at +170.