Soa Palelei will face the biggest challenge of his mixed martial arts (MMA) career (literally) when he takes on fellow heavyweight Antonio Silva at the UFC 190 pay-per-view (PPV) event, which goes down this Sat. night (Aug. 1, 2015) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Special opponents require special training partners, which is why "The Hulk" brought in heavy-handed Mark Hunt to help him prepare for the "Bigfoot"-sized challenge. Plus, Hunt has already gone toe-to-toe against Silva, fighting to a draw against the bruiser in 2013 in a spectacular back-and-forth brawl.
So what have the two big men been focusing on? Soa wasn't exactly cryptic when asked by UFC.com about his gameplan.
"Mark Hunt is one of the most devastating hard punchers in MMA, so I think I'll let you figure that one out."
Despite the cold, hard fact that Silva is on a two-fight losing streak doesn't mean Soa is looking at the bout as a walk in the park, as he understands full well just how dangerous the big man is, regardless of his recent woes.
"I think that Bigfoot is a strong opponent, and he's a guy not to be underestimated," said Palelei. "Whether he's lost his last two fights, don't underestimate a guy that needs to win. So I know he's going to be coming into this fight ready to rock ‘n' roll, so I'm looking forward to it and I can't wait."
The Australian is confident his skill set will outshine that of his foe's come fight night. And with the spotlight shining bright on the two big men in Rio, Soa plans to make a splash in the most important fight of his MMA career.
"I know what my strengths are and I know what his strengths are, as well. This is going to be the toughest fight to date for me, so I'm looking forward to it and I respect Bigfoot as an opponent and as an athlete, because he's an accomplished athlete that has accomplished a lot in MMA, so I respect that," he concluded.
With a win, Soa can make it two wins in a row after previously having his 11-fight win streak snapped by Jared Rosholt last year.
For all you need to know about UFC 190 click here.