Strikeforce heavyweight Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva is coming off the biggest win of his career, dominating the once-unstoppable Fedor Emelianenko last month in the quarterfinal round of the Strikeforce heavyweight world grand prix tournament.
But the last thing “Bigfoot” wants to do now is sit back and let that momentum fade.
Silva’s manager, Alex Davis, told MMAWeekly that the Brazilian needs to stay active regardless of the tournament schedule.
“For us, it sucks because, think about it, if the tournament happens on the 18th of June, the earliest you’re going to get to the semifinals is going to be late September, early October. That means Antonio stays without fighting for seven or eight months and it just doesn’t work like that. I need to keep this guy in motion, I need to keep him fighting, that’s how he pays his bills. Not only that, but to keep this momentum in his fighting career, I can’t just stop it in the middle.”
The second leg of the grand prix tournament was expected to take place on April 9, but has since been pushed back to June 18. That event will feature Alistair Overeem vs. Fabrico Werdum and Josh Barnett vs. Brett Rogers.
Silva is slated to face the winner of the Overeem/Werdum bout.
That matchup, however, likely won’t occur until at least September.
“The only other option I have is to try to get a fight in Japan for him. Of course, he’s in the tournament, so we’ve got to talk to Strikeforce and respect their view too, but for us that would be the best scenario. He could go to Japan, fight somebody in Japan, maybe in June or July, keep himself motivated, keep himself going, pay his bills, and then come back ready for the tournament.”
Davis also fired back at critics who stated that the bout with Fedor shouldn’t have been stopped.
“Let me intercede on one thing. People are saying now ‘oh we don’t think Fedor lost the fight’ and I say great, let’s give Fedor a rematch. You know what’s going to happen in the rematch? It’s going to happen worse. Because now this was the biggest fight to date for Bigfoot, and now he knows in his heart what he can do. Now it’s going to be a problem for the other guys. This guy now is confident.”
Fellow quarterfinal round winner Sergei Kharitonov has also expressed interest in staying active in the interim while he waits to find out who he will face next in the semifinals of the tournament.
As of yet, no official word has come from Strikeforce has to whether or not the participants would be allowed to take bouts outside of the promotion during the tournament.