Get to know Dana White’s Contender Series fighter Jacob “Lil’ Animal” Silva

Las Vegas – Get to know Dana White’s Contender Series fighter Jacob “Lil’ Animal” Silva.

The fourth season of the hit show Dana White’s Contender Series continues with Episode 4, featuring a lineup of rising athletes looking to make their dreams come true by impressing UFC President Dana White and earning a spot on the UFC roster.

The event takes place on Tuesday, August 25 at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT, with all five bouts streaming exclusively on ESPN+ in the US.

ESPN+ is available through the,, or the ESPN App on all major mobile and connected TV devices and platforms, including Amazon Fire, Apple, Android, Chromecast, PS4, Roku, Samsung Smart TVs, X Box One and more. Fans can sign up for $4.99 per month or $49.99 per year, with no contract required.

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NAME: Jacob Silva
FULL NAME: Jacob Allen Silva
NICKNAME: Jacob “Lil’ Animal” Silva
AGE: 32 years old – 2/23/88
STANCE: Orthodox
STYLE: Boxing
TRAINER: Saul Soliz / Metro Fight Club
STRENGTHS: Cardio, power
TRAINING: Start off with a light warm-up, Monday evening, sparring. Five rounds of sixminutes sparring, 30 seconds rest. Coach usually tells us who to spar next. After sparring, either
strength and conditioning or technique work. Once that’s done, it’s our job to get our runs in.
Usually three miles every day.


Thoughts on opponent, Jeffrey Molina? I think he’s hungry, young and flashy. I also think he
hasn’t fought anyone like me.

When and why did you start training for fighting? I started training/fighting in 2010. I joined Hoger MMA with my older brother Leroy, but we didn’t really like it there. Fast forward a month or so, I ran into one of my best friends, David. He was at an MMA gym also, except he had a fight coming up, and he invited me to his gym. I stepped into Silverback Fight Club and got this vibe that this was the place I needed to be at. I never wanted to do MMA; I only joined the gym to get in shape for the Fire Academy because at that time I was going to school to  become a firefighter. My coach at that time convinced me to compete in an MMA fight. I trained for six months while going to school and working nights. I lost a split decision.

What ranks and titles have you held? I’ve held the Fury Fighting Championship title 2X. The highest rank I’ve been is 3rd in the Southwest region.

Do you have any heroes? I have people who’ve been in my life that I don’t want to be like. I have people whom I’ve seen do wrong and I’ve learned from them. The closest thing to heroes are my two uncles Danny and David; they are real life heroes. Danny is a police officer and David is a firefighter. Both been doing their city a good service for 20 plus years for the Houston Police Department and Houston Fire Department.

What would it mean for you to fight in the UFC? For me to fight in the UFC would mean for the next few years I could spend more time with my family. It would mean, when my daughter asked me for something, I wouldn’t have to tell her no because I can’t afford it. It would mean I could give up working in warehouses for the time being. I could provide a better living for my wife and daughter without working overtime and not being around.

Did you go to college and if so what degree did you earn? I went to Houston Community College; I got my Fire Certificate and EMS Certificate. I never followed up with actually working in those fields. The pay was too low for me to switch over at that time.

What was your job before you started fighting? I used to work at a machine shop, operating metal cutting saws, cranes forklifts. We would cut high end metals. I’ve been in the oil and gas industry since 2010 also.

If any list specific accomplishments in amateur competition? Amateur record 9-4, 2X Cage Combat Championship, CDM Championship, Legacy Fighting Championship, SCC Fighting Championship. All Houston based

Favorite grappling technique: I like taking the back. I feel like I’ll finish anyone if I get to that position.

Favorite Striking technique: Jab, left hook

Twitter account name: jacobsilva125

Facebook account: Jacob Silva

Instagram account: Jacobsilva125


  • Pro since 2014
  • Started pro career 0-2. Unbeaten since
  • On six-fight winning streak
  • Five wins by KO, one by submission (Triangle)
  • Four first round finishes
  • Origin of nickname: “My first coach, Tony Oroczo (RIP), told me that was his nickname growing up and I reminded him of himself.”


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