‘Gold belt mentality’: PFL finalist Josh Silveira explains why title would mean more than $1 million

Money is cool, but Josh Silveira is looking for something a bit more meaningful to his sense of martial arts accomplishment.

For the second straight year, Silveira (12-1 MMA, 5-1 PFL) is on the verge of a $1 million prize. He faces former UFC fighter Impa Kasanganay (14-3 MMA, 4-0 PFL) in a light heavyweight final at 2023 PFL Championships. The event takes place Nov. 24 at The Anthem in Washington, D.C., and streams on ESPN+.

“I would say the belt (means more than money),” Silveira recently told MMA Junkie Radio. “The belt drives me the most. Being champion, having that title, being part of a good organization and really cementing my name. The sport is growing. I think I have a good personality. I think I fight well. I think the money is going to come in all shapes and sizes.

“But I think the gold belt, especially for my father, and (it’ll) place a good stepping stone, a key moment into my great career. This is just the beginning. I think the gold belt for sure is the type of mentality you should have. The money is going to come and go but we really want to cement ourselves in that championship category, for sure.”

Perhaps Silveira’s preference for pride over dollars was handed down to him by his father, Conan, a former UFC fighter and longtime American Top Team coach. Silveira is a second-generation fighter. He’s been around an MMA gym for as long as he can remember.

“I think the PFL season format can kind of be tough,” Silveira said. “You need good coaching to understand that, ‘Hey, we’re going for our fourth fight. You’re more than ready. We’ve just got to sharpen up these little tools, do a couple of adjustments, get you ready for two more rounds, and that’s it.’ To be honest, the work feels good. The work feels done already. I feel like I’ve just been fighting all year long. It’s no problem with that. I feel great. My dad is just a guy who does a couple of adjustments, sometimes when he sees me getting too antsy. It is for a world championship fight. His goal is to keep me calm and collected and let’s go really cap this thing off and win this thing.”

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for 2023 PFL Championships.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie