Antônio “Bigfoot” Silva has been training away in the lead-up to his scheduled Feb. 2 fight with Alistair Overeem at UFC 156 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The Brazilian, who is coming off a win over Travis Browne at UFC on FX 5, will be looking to shore up his standing in the promotion by beating the Dutch knockout artist—and to set himself up for a shot at the heavyweight belt sometime down the road.
In a recent press release issued by his publicist, the giant from Team Nogueira addressed his friend Junior Cigano’s loss to Cain Velasquez. While he didn’t hide his surprise at the result, he did make a point of praising the newly crowned American champion’s qualities.
“I was kind of surprised by the result, if just because of the way the fight played out. A lot of folks have criticized Cigano for it, but personally I don’t feel he did a bad job in the fight. It was Velasquez who put on an outstanding performance, closing the distance and stifling Cigano’s game. Though it wasn’t a favorable result, I feel Cigano’s going to look at where he went wrong and come back stronger than ever,” said Silva in the statement.
As a side note, it was to Velasquez that Bigfoot lost his UFC debut last May 2012, a gory, one-sided affair.
The result of last Saturday’s showdown again shuffled up the pecking order in the UFC heavyweight division, which the Brazilian is none too pleased about, as he would rather Cigano have remained number one in the weight class. Though Cain’s victory has opened up new possibilities, the Brazilian made it clear that right now his mind isn’t on the belt but on winning his next outing.
“I really like Cigano. He’s a humble, hard-working guy, and I wish he’d have won so the belt would still be in Brazil. I’m not thinking about a future title fight; my focus is on winning my next fight. I want to take it one step at a time,” he remarked.
Bigfoot, who holds a record of 17 wins and four losses, didn’t shy away from speaking about Alistair Overeem, who has a Jan. 8 hearing with the Nevada State Athletic Commission coming up so he can explain himself and try and get himself reinstated following his suspension for doping, and he may still be barred from fighting at UFC 156.
“I feel it’s normal [that he report to the commission], if just because his is a recent case and the changes to his body were really visible. I’ve got my training camp set up so I can fight him. I hope the Commission releases him to fight, if just so my training process can go through. I brought in two Dutch sparring partners and Vitor Miranda to help me out. I really want this fight to go through,” he said in finishing.
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