'Bigfoot' returns on 10/30 in Kissimmee, Florida

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Brazil's Combate reports that former UFC heavyweight title challenger Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva has signed a three-fight contract with Taura MMA and will fight Brett "Big Dog" Martin on October 30 in Kissimmee, Florida.

Martin, a top contender in LFA, is 6-1 as an amateur, and 9-1 as a pro, on a five-fight win streak. Martin would have been the LFA heavyweight champ after beating Daniel James via DQ, but was sick and failed to make the 265-pound heavyweight title limit.

Silva, who holds wins over Fedor Emelianenko, Travis Browne, and Alistair Overeem, is not the fighter he once was. Silva was 16-2 after beating Fedor in the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix Quarterfinais, but he ran into future UFC champ champ Daniel Cormier. When Strikeforce was bought by the UFC, his first fight in the league was a loss to Cain Velasquez. But he bounced back with wins over 'Reem and Ronda Rousey's husband, which earned him a title shot at now heavyweight champion Velasquez. He was knocked out in 81 seconds, but was still a world- fighter.

Silva's next fight was a Majority Draw with Mark Hunt in arguably the greatest heavyweight fight in MMA history. The bout outcome was overturned after Silva tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone. That was in 2013, and Silva was never the same. 

He went 5-1 in the UFC, with all the losses coming via T/KO, all but one in Round 1. After being released on a three-fight losing streak, Silva lost two more in Russia. He has not competed in MMA since 2017.

Late in 2017 Silva tried kickboxing for the first time, losing to Rico Verhoeven by KO at Glory 46: China. On October 19, 2019, Silva tried bare-knuckle boxing for the first time, losing via brutal KO to Gabriel Gonzaga.

And now Silva fights one of the brightest American heavyweight prospects outside the UFC. All of Silva's losses were to top-flight talent. He's not getting crushed by cans. But he will be 41 when the fight with Martin happens, and the knockouts he is suffering are not fun to watch.