Solecki (12-3 MMA, 4-1 UFC) picked up a majority decision win over the Brazilian at Saturday’s UFC event in Las Vegas. The decision had one judge score the bout 28–28 and two other judges in favor Solecki with a 28–27 and a 29–27.
The scoring was a bit out of the norm given a point deduction to da Silva after he repeatedly locked his toes in the fence, which is deemed illegal. Da Silva also illegally held onto Solecki’s gloves and was warned multiple times by referee Chris Tognoni.
Warnings on illegal maneuvers come too often in MMA without penalties. Solecki was glad to see da Silva pay for his actions.
“He probably grabbed my glove seven or eight times, so that got tough,” Solecki told reporters at the UFC Fight Night 207 post-fight press conference. “But the ref did an awesome job. I really, really appreciate him actually being on top of the action. Because like I said in an interview, I’ve been a back-taker for a long time and I’m no stranger to guys grabbing my gloves and you call it out and they don’t say anything. I had to call it out a couple of times, but ultimately he took a point and it was the right thing to do.”
Solecki had to dig deep for the win. He was knocked down in the first round and had the pressure put on him on the feet in the third following a successful second round. The 28-year-old believes he was the rightful winner in the contest and was confident in his work.
“So it’s hard to tell with judging and everything, but I wasn’t parading around with my hands up not because I didn’t think we got it, but I popped my rib out on a failed takedown in the third, so I just wanted to hold him against the fence and let the judges do their thing,” Solecki said. “I don’t need to parade around and put on smoke and mirrors. I’m just going to do my work and wait for the result. I’m proud of the performance. It was tough. I’ve had some finesse performances in the UFC and I’ve had some grinds. This was a grind, but I’m proud of that.”
As far as what’s next, Solecki has no preference for an opponent, but he’d like to be more active. This was his first fight in 2022 and he’d like to get at least one more fight this year.
“I’d like to stay active,” Solecki said. “I think late fall would be awesome. I’m seeing stuff get booked for October already, it’s crazy. Before the new year would be awesome. I have to stay at least two and a half fights (per year), that’s probably the sweet spot. … Another one before the end of the year would be spectacular and I’ll be ready.”