Antonio Silva says knockouts are just part of being a heavyweight. | File photo: Marcelo Alonso/Sherdog.com
Antonio Silva suffered his third knockout loss in his last four outings at UFC Fight Night “Bigfoot vs. Mir” on Sunday, succumbing to a Frank Mir left hook and follow-up elbows at Gigantinho Gymnasium in Porto Alegre, Brazil.
Despite that disturbing trend, the massive Brazilian was defiant when questioned about the sturdiness of his chin at the event’s post-fight press conference.
“I don’t know if you watched the fight. Watch where the first punch was where he knocked me down,” Silva said. “All the knockdowns that I’ve taken were hits to my head. I think [a weak chin] has nothing to do with it... Frank hit me first. He’s a heavyweight. Heavyweights are like this. It happens.
“Sometimes you take a whole fight taking punches, like it was with Mark Hunt, and you’re still there. Then, all of a sudden, you get a punch that lands in the right place. It was his merit. I waited to hit him on the counter attack, but it was all his merit. Congratulations to him.”
“Bigfoot” has not won a fight since February 2013, when he stopped Alistair Overeem in the third round at UFC 156. Since then, the 35-year-old has suffered first-round knockout losses to Mir, Andrei Arlovski and Cain Velasquez. He also battled Hunt to a memorable draw, but the glow of that fight was tarnished when Silva tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone after the bout.
Although both of his last two outings ended in similarly quick fashion, Silva was more pleased with his overall performance leading up to and during the Mir fight than he was with his loss against Arlovski last September.
“One time you smile, the other you cry,” he said. “From the last fight I did a lot of things wrong in my camp and fight week. For this fight, I did everything perfectly: before the fight, fight week, fight day. It wasn’t my day to win. It was Frank’s day. I respected him throughout. I didn’t do that in my last fight, and he was simply better.”
Silva said he plans to take some time off before his next fight, but eventually he will return to the gym to correct his mistakes. He understands that addressing a brutal knockout loss is part of the job, but he also feels that most people don’t have a good grasp of what it means to step into the Octagon.
“Being here is part of it... Sometimes it’s complicated because people don’t understand fighting. They never slapped anyone. They never even slapped a baby’s butt,” Silva said. “They don’t know what we go through. We’re human beings like any other. It’s tough. It’s not easy to come to someone and tell them exactly what happened.
“I had a lot of will, something last time I didn’t have. Unfortunately, it wasn’t my day. Now it’s time to get back and train even harder and hope for my next fight.”