WildCard Predicts: Thiago Silva v Mikhail Kolobegov (ACB 82)

Tommy "WildCard" Hayden Tommy "WildCard" Hayden

FOX Sports Asia previews the Thiago Silva v Mikhail Kolobegov bout at the upcoming ACB 82.

Absolute Championship Berkut (ACB) is an extremely tough fight organisation. The Russian MMA promotion will be holding its 82nd event in Brazil on March 9th, with past events in a long list of nations, a huge number since launching the ACB brand in 2014.

You could make an argument that ACB are closing in on Bellator’s position as the de facto number two MMA organisation in the world – based on level of talent and scope of events.

Oftentimes you will see former UFC fighters battling some of the very best up-and-comers in the world. In the case of the main event at ACB 82 we see just that. Thiago Silva, a UFC vet with a 20-6 overall record, will be squaring off against Mikhail “Barrera” Kolobegov, who is currently 10-2.

Thiago Silva, who at 35 is five years older than Kolobegov, has been a much more active fighter. He has had five fights since 2016, suffering only one loss via TKO, while Kolobegov has had only two fights in that time, his last of which was a No Contest.

Silva’s age is definitely beginning to show, as he is not nearly as explosive as he used to be. With that being said, he still has excellent power in his hands, as well as the ability to apply pressure the instant he sees an opening.

Kolobegov on the other hand is a slow starter and a pressure fighter. This guy may start slow, but he picks up the pace as the rounds increase. Despite his heavy hands, he has more submission wins under his belt, while Silva has more KO/TKO wins, as well as a black belt in BJJ.

After watching some of Kolobegov’s fights to get myself acquainted with his style, I see this fight as one that will be quite entertaining to watch. Kolobegov reminds me of a young Silva; he is a pressure fighter who is dangerous no matter where the fight ends up.

Silva, being a crafty veteran, now prefers a counterstriking style, baiting his opponents to chase him down and step into his brutal counterstrikes.

This is going to be a crowd pleaser, as we watch the old versus the new. Will Kolobegov be able to handle Silva’s counterstriking and power? Will Silva be able to handle the pace and pressure of Kolobegov?

The way I see it, if this fight ends early it will probably come by way of KO leaving Silva the victor. If Kolobegov is able to take the fight into later rounds, I see him coming out with the victory.

This fight is also taking place in Sao Paulo, giving Silva the home advantage. So I am going with Silva on this one. However, I do love an underdog, so I am hoping Kolobegov pulls off the upset.

Tommy “WildCard” Hayden is a former UFC fighter and Head MMA Coach at Elite Fight Club, Bangkok.