Antonio Silva (right) stopped Fedor Emelianenko after two rounds on Saturday | Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
Defying experts and bookmakers alike, heavy underdog Antonio Silva dealt Fedor Emelianenko his second consecutive loss in the heavyweight main event of Strikeforce “Fedor vs. Silva.”
Competing in front of a pro-Emelianenko Izod Center in East Rutherford, N.J., Silva closed the Russian’s right eye with heavy ground-and-pound, forcing referee Dan Miragliotta to call a halt to the contest between the second and third rounds on the advice of the cageside physician.
“I’m very happy this night,” said Silva at Saturday’s post-fight press conference. “Fedor is the best in the world to me. I’m a big fan. He has a big history. I trained too hard for this fight. For two months, I only eat, rest and train.
“I showed the world one more time that I come to not to play, but to fight. I want to be the best heavyweight in the world.”
After a competitive first round that saw both men swing for the fences, the Brazilian took control in round two. Silva brought the fight to the floor, where he proceeded to drop massive punches and hammer fists on his smaller opponent.
“Before the fight, I was a big underdog. During the fight, I took some big shots from Fedor, but then I knew he wasn’t going to knock me out,” said Silva. “I came back the way I knew I had to. I really had to beat him in a decisive way.”
Silva, who suffers from the pituitary gland disorder acromegaly, is known for his enormous size and features. Bigfoot asserts that one particular part of his super-sized anatomy enabled him to absorb Emelianenko’s windmill-like punches in the first frame.
“A lot of people see this chin, and it’s a punch absorber,” said Silva, who took Emelianenko’s back multiple times in the second period. “I trained a lot of jiu-jitsu [for this fight]. I still haven’t shown the world what I can do in jiu-jitsu. I put my game plan together and I used it.”
When asked what it was like to lock up with the all-time great, Silva pointed to the blatant size differential as a deciding factor in the victory.
“When I [weighed] in, I was at 265. Tonight, I was at 285. He was at 230,” said Silva. “A lot of people say he has the strength of a bear, but I have the strength of a Bigfoot.”
With the victory, Silva advances to the semifinals of Strikeforce’s heavyweight grand prix and will face either countryman Fabricio Werdum or reigning heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem in the next round.
When pressed to describe the experience of fighting the legendary Emelianenko, Silva responded frankly. Crediting Werdum, who handed Emelianenko his first defeat in nearly a decade last June, Silva reiterated that any man can be beaten.
“I’ve always said that Superman and Robocop don’t exist,” said Silva. “Werdum started it, and I finished proving it: Superman doesn't exist.”
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