Thiago Anderson Ramos da Silva is a Brazilian kickboxer and mixed martial artist who competes in the Light Heavyweight division. A professional competitor since 2005, he formerly competed for the UFC, the World Series of Fighting, Absolute Championship Berkut and Pancrase.
Silva is from São Paulo, Brazil and had a difficult upbringing. He grew up in a very poor area and witnessed murders at a young age. To help support himself, he got his first job when he was only nine years old cleaning automobile parts. Silva was athletic, playing soccer and basketball, and attended school, but ran away from home at age 13 due to his allegedly abusive father, never to see his mother or younger brother again. He then lived on his own in the favelas or slums of São Paulo, moving into his friends' homes who would allow him to stay. At age 18, Silva began to train in mixed martial arts and due to his poverty often had to choose between eating and training although his coach let him train for free in exchange for cleaning the facility.
Prior to signing with the Ultimate Fighting Championship, Silva fought almost solely in his native country of Brazil. During his first nine professional bouts, he attained a perfect 9–0 record, winning seven of these bouts by KO or TKO and one by submission. Silva also won the Fury FC 2 Grand Prix in 2006 and fought in a Pancrase bout against Tatsuya Mizuno before receiving a UFC contract.