A young champion that has dominated every opponent in the Octagon with his boxing vs. a veteran ex-champ whose ground-wizardry has carried him to his second career comeback. Sure, it would have been nice to see JDS vs. Overeem, but we’re staying positive here, and you couldn’t write a better storyline for this May 26th heavyweight title fight. Also featured in the new hype video for UFC 146 is the return of heavyweight phenom Cain Velasquez, who promises a victory against promotional newcomer Antonio Silva — a gigantic opportunity for both men. Can Bigfoot make a splash in the UFC, or is he just a speed-bump on the way to Cain’s next title shot?
Antonio Silva will be making his UFC debut against Velasquez, and hasn’t competed since his knockout loss to Daniel Cormier in the semi-finals of Strikeforce’s heavyweight tournament last September. As for Silva’s original opponent Roy Nelson, Big Country is still expected to remain on the card though a replacement opponent hasn’t been named yet. The current lineup for UFC 146 is after the jump…
Nevada has been able to test athletes randomly for a while now, but only recently got an increase in their department’s funding that has allowed them to begin such testing in earnest, according to Chiappetta. The state commission decided to take advantage of all the fighters coming to the state, and save the money it might have cost to go to them, in effect. As the MMAFighting report explains:
Continuing the UFC’s ongoing trend of purging Strikeforce of any remaining talent, it was rumored a couple months ago that Silva would be facing Cain Velasquez for his UFC debut, which was tentatively set for April. Rumors quickly shifted to a possible Velasquez/Frank Mir matchup, and “Bigfoot” was all but forgotten about in the mix of things. After shocking the world by handing Fedor Emelianenko his first (T)KO loss since December of 2000 at last year’s Strikeforce: Fedor vs. Silva card, “Bigfoot” would find himself on the wrong end of a slightly less shocking KO loss to Daniel Cormier in the semifinals of Strikeforce’s long running heavyweight tournament in his last contest.
Quinton “Rampage” Jackson recently sat down with Gary Alexander of Fighter’s Only Magazine for an exclusive interview, and per usual, provided several insights into the enigma wrapped mystery that is the former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion’s mind. On the heels of an unsuccessful title bid against Jon Jones, Jackson has opted for a training camp that won’t cost him six figures for his upcoming UFC 144 bout against Ryan Bader. According to Jackson, he had originally planned on returning to MusclePharm for the bout with Bader, but upon coming to the realization that it would in fact be cold in that part of the country, decided to stay at his own newly formed gym in Southern California.
For the most part, the interview was standard Rampage fare, chocked full of paranoid delusions, incoherent rambling, and a complete disregard for the interviewer beside him. You know, the stuff we love about ‘Page. But things took an interesting turn when Jackson was asked how he saw the Bader fight going down in a perfect world:
In a perfect world, I step in the cage, and I yawn just like just I did on you and he fuckin’ faints. And then I get my check and walk out there like, ‘Thanks!’ and I don’t even gotta do the interview with Joe Rogan’s fake ass…after you fight, if you win, you gotta go and Joe Rogan’s gotta do an interview with you and most likely he’s been talking crap about you the whole time.
Join us after the jump for more from this interview, as well as an interesting tidbit compliments of Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva.
Brazilian MMA website Portal Do Vale Tudo is reporting that Antonio Silva already has a dance partner lined up for his UFC debut. “Bigfoot” will allegedly face former UFC Heavyweight Champion Cain Velasquez in an April clash. A poorly translated version of their report credits Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira with breaking the story in his weekly newspaper column [ed. note: please let it be the Portuguese version of “Dear Don”].
The match has not yet been announced or confirmed by the UFC. Silva’s manager, Alex Davis, initially denied the report, but somewhat changed his tune when he learned that “Minotauro” was the source of the rumor. According to Google Translate, he threatened Nogueira thusly: “Gee, I have to stick your ass it!”. Though we’re not exactly certain what that means, it sounds much more painful than any punishment John Dodson received for revealing Team Mayhem’s match-ups.
(With a head that big, it’s no wonder “Bigfoot” has sore shoulders)
Chael Sonnen told me during an interview a couple years back that guys who go into a fight 100 percent healthy either didn’t train hard enough or they’re liars.
What he was referring to was the growing number of fighters who make excuses for losses or less than stellar wins after the fact by revealing that they were nursing an injury during the fight or training camp, since pretty much everyone has some kind of ailment or boo-boo come fight day.
Well, we can add another name to the list. Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva tells Tatame that he had a shoulder injury and was on anti-inflammatories when he was upset by heavyweight grand prix alternate Daniel Cormier Saturday night at Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Kharitonov in Cincinnati. Apparently the first jab he ate from the AKA fighter made him feel uncharacteristically dizzy and it was this bit of vertigo that led to him getting knocked out.
“This hurts me more than it does you.” PicProps: Esther Lin
Bad news for all you rabid Daniel Cormier fans: the big guy confirmed yesterday that his right hand is indeed broken after he used said hand to bludgeon Bigfoot Silva into La-La Land and out of the heavyweight grand prix:
Cormier worked his way from an alternate slot in the Strikeforce GP to a finals matchup with Josh Barnett, but his victories may be all for naught if he doesn’t heal quickly enough.
King Mo, during the UFC application process post-fight interview. Props: Showtime Sports
Last night, the real story behind “Barnet vs. Kharitonov had nothing to do with the heavyweight grand prix. It had nothing to do with the middleweight championship of a sinking organization. Last night, as with every other Strikeforce show since the promotion was purchased by Zuffa, was little more than an audition. It was about who will get a UFC contract when Strikeforce goes under, and who will have to go through TUF. The fans knew it, the announcers knew it, going as far as confirming the Belfort vs. Le rumor, and the fighters definitely knew it.
Despite Strikeforce’s best efforts to hype Josh Barnett vs. Sergei Kharitonov as a potentially close fight, we all knew what to expect: A repeat of Kharitonov vs. Monson, except with a far superior version of Jeff Monson. Because of this, it’s hard to be impressed with anything that Josh Barnett does at this point. The tournament’s biggest names and most intriguing matchups for Barnett- Fedor, Werdum and Overeem- were all removed well before last night. Barnett has become such an overwhelming favorite to win that when he wins, he’s simply living up to expectations. He was paired up against an opponent with weak grappling credentials, knew he would dominate the fight once Kharitonov was on the ground, and fought accordingly. At least the tournament was set up so that he would get to face a competent grappler in the finals.