Silva: Fedor’s ‘Main Weakness’ Lies in Ground Game

By Staff Jan 14, 2011
Despite Fedor Emelianenko’s loss to Fabricio Werdum in June, Antonio Silva (Pictured) still views the Russian fighter as MMA’s top heavyweight. However, that does not mean Silva will not try to take a page from his countryman’s playbook when the Brazilian “Bigfoot” meets the “Last Emperor” in the opening round of Strikeforce’s heavyweight grand prix.

“The one thing I have in my mind is: Werdum showed the world [Fedor’s] holes on the ground. I think his main weakness is there,” Silva said during Thursday’s media conference call to promote Strikeforce “Fedor vs. Silva” on Feb. 12 at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, N.J.

“It’s very hard to define how the fight’s gonna be. I’m gonna follow the waves, and if the fight’s good for me in the stand-up, I’m gonna keep it standing up,” Silva added. “He’s a complete fighter. I’m a complete fighter. I’m going to capitalize on anything the fight gives to me.”

One factor the 6-foot-4, 265-pound Silva already has plans to capitalize on is his significant size advantage over Emelianenko, who stands 6-foot and weighed in for the Werdum bout at 229 pounds.

“I’m gonna try to take advantage of my weight. If I hit certain positions, I think he’s gonna feel it,” Silva said.

No stranger to gargantuan opponents or foes suggesting that they have seen the chinks in his armor, Emelianenko offered a typically subdued take on Silva’s strategy.

“It doesn’t matter to me. Whatever happens, happens. I can fight either way,” said Emelianenko. “Many times, people have sized me up and tried to say what my strengths and weaknesses are. But if they think that they’ve found what my biggest weakness is, then let them try to take advantage of it.”

Not one for trash talk himself, Silva spoke of Emelianenko with great reverence, referring to the former Pride champion as a “legend.” Asked whether he had hoped to square off against Emelianenko sooner, Silva -- whose own loss to Werdum in November 2009 remains his only defeat since 2006 -- surmised that now is the right time.

“When I had eight fights, everybody said I could be the man to beat Fedor in the future. But God knows the right moment, and now I have 18 fights and just two losses. In my mind, I know I can beat him,” said Silva. “Fedor is a legend, but to be the legend, you must beat the legend. That’s what I’m going to do.”
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