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‘Bigfoot’ Silva a ‘hero’ in Russia, receives whopping $200,000 payday ... and he’ll fight again

MMA: UFC 190-Silva vs Palelei Jason Silva-USA TODAY Sports

While former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Heavyweight title challenger, Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva (19-11, 1 NC), seems to be heading downward in terms of his performance in his mixed martial arts (MMA) career, his new paycheck would disagree.

To end his UFC run, Silva was 1-6 with one “No Contest” in his final eight bouts, losing all six of his fights via (technical) knockout. In terms of health and safety concerns, it seems as if “Bigfoot” would want to consider hanging up the gloves.

However, Russia’s Titov Boxing Promotion had other plans for him.

After being released by UFC, Silva sought to continue his MMA career despite his most recent crushing defeats. If a Russian organization is going to pay him a hefty sum of $200,000 though — more than what UFC was paying him — how could he say no?

Silva’s manager, Alex Davis, talked to MMAJunkie Radio and gave his praise to the Russian promotion even if it had significant faults along with it.

“I think we found a new reality for ‘Bigfoot,'” Davis said. “They were extremely well-treated. Everything was perfect. We had no complaints whatsoever (except) for the judging of the fight.”

Judging from shady bouts like Fedor Emelianenko vs. Fabio Maldonado — although it wasn’t a Titov Boxing Promotion fight, but took place in Russia — and Silva’s teammate Jeff Monson’s experience with Titov, where he signed to compete in an exhibition bout but was tricked into a professional bout instead, the Russian promotion doesn’t seem to hold fair contests .... especially considering that “Snowman” injured his arm in that bout.

While all of the evidence from a distance seems condemning for the promotion, Davis has assured that he is looking out for “Bigfoot.”

“A lot of people in the media started shooting at me, saying I was a lousy manager because I was sending him out there in the jungle in Russia and they’d done that to Jeff, and we were worried. But, it just so happens that none of that was true.”

Even though Davis may be right, it didn’t stop the officiating for Silva’s bout with Ivan Shtyrkov (8-0) from getting out of hand. The bout probably should’ve been stopped when “Bigfoot” was knocked through the ropes by Shtyrkov in the second round, or when Silva landed a monstrous uppercut in the third round; however, the referee stopped the action because Shtyrkov lost his mouthpiece and also gave him an extra five minutes to recuperate from the punch.

“The only thing they didn’t do was give (Shtyrkov) Oxygen,” Davis said in regard to the mouthpiece fiasco. “They gave him five minutes to recuperate, which is wrong on their end. But, there’s no athletic commission, all the refs are Russian, so if you fight in Russia, you’ve got to finish the fight.”

Despite all of this being put into question, Davis still remains optimistic about Silva’s future with the Russian promotion.

“Everybody in Russia remembers him against Fedor (Emelianenko),” Davis said. “He’s got a big following in Russia that we didn’t realize. Even at this fight, when they gave the decision to the Russian, the crowd booed. He’s a hero there, so he gets a second breath in his career. He’s going to fight again.

“He’ll fight a few more times in Russia, and he’ll make some good money,” he continued. “They’re paying better than in other markets, so you’ll see him fight again, for sure.”

While “Bigfoot” doesn’t have a scheduled bout yet, he is seeking to continue his career with Titov Boxing Promotion potentially against undefeated ex-Bellator MMA Heavyweight champion Vitaly Minakov in the near future.

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