When he entered the Octagon for the first time at 27 years of age, Erick Silva put the mixed martial arts (MMA) world on notice, knocking out Luis Ramos in a mere 40 seconds.
Soon thereafter, fight fans were hailing Silva as a future threat to the welterweight title.
Predictions that never really came to fruition, as "Tiger" racked up a 5-5 record in the wake of his spectacular debut. Now, a more mature Silva aims to get back on the winning track after suffering a loss to Neil Magny at UFC Fight Night 74 earlier this year (recap).
And as he revealed on The MMA Hour (via MMA Fighting), he has two opponents in mind.
"I don't have anything set, but I would like to fight Jake Ellenberger or get a rematch with Dong Hyun Kim because I'm more mature now, more focused, going for new challenges, and the result would be completely different."
Kim initially knocked Silva out in 2013. And while both Ellenberger and Kim have fights lined up, the Brazilian will be an eager spectator to see if one of those combatants can fill his empty dance card somewhere down the road.
As far as why Silva is confident the results will turn in his favor, he says that through the trials and tribulations of his present Octagon stint, he's learned to be more responsible.
"The difference is that I'm more mature now. When I entered the UFC I was a kid getting excited, a lot of new things going on in my life. It's not like that now. I've been through good and bad moments, so I'm aware of what can and can't happen, of what I want, and that makes me more responsible for the things I want and where I want to go."
Training in New York at the moment, Erick sees his move from Brazil as a positive, as he no longer has to worry about "celebrity" distractions he has in his homeland. That's because he isn't quite the star here that he is in Brazil.
Something that may change now that he's determined to learn from his past mistakes and fulfill the expectations he came in with back in 2011.