The past decade hasn’t been kind to Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva, who went from being a pretty feared Heavyweight behemoth to a struggling giant, proving the adage, “The bigger they are, harder they fall.” At the start of 2011, a 16-2 “Bigfoot” beat Fedor Emelianenko in the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix quarterfinals. But, in the fall a little known wrestler named Daniel Cormier dominated him, and from there it was all downhill.
From 2012 onward, Silva went 3-10-1 in mixed martial arts (MMA) with nine of those losses coming via (technical) knockout.
A move to Glory Kickboxing in 2017 resulted in another technical knockout at the hands (and feet) of Rico Verhoeven. Then there was a 2019 bareknuckle boxing bout against Gabriel Gonzaga. It also ended via technical knockout. Now, two years removed from combat sports competition and four years since his last MMA fight, Silva is preparing for a return to the cage in a bout against Quentin Domingos at Megdan Fighting 9 in Serbia on June 13, 2021.
“I am very anxious after a few years away,” Silva told AG Fight. “I am motivated, happy to arrive on the 13th of June to return to MMA, against a guy who has six fights, who is very strong. It was the career that launched me on the martial art scene, so I have a great love. New opportunities appeared, but as soon as it was MMA, I already thought it was time (to return). I had my first fight in 2004. I have a feeling for MMA, so it’s quick to pick up. I’m 300 percent focused to get back.”
“(The problem) was here (in the head). From 2014 onward, my life went downhill, not only in my professional life but also in my personal life. Personal things I did that influenced my professional life. At the time I thought I was right, I didn’t see the error and this is a snowball. You reap what you sow. I made a big change. I wish I had this head and this personal life for years. Surely now it is a ‘Pezao’ from ten years ago that will return. I had to fall several times to see where I went wrong. Falling is important, but the most important thing is to get up and, thank God, I managed.”
At 41 years of age and with so much damage taken, we have our doubts that “Bigfoot” will be able to turn back the clock like he’s hoping. It’s true that Heavyweight fighters in combat sports seem to be able to hang on longer career-wise, even pulling off successful resurgences in their later years. And to be fair, a big chunk of Silva’s losses over the past decade have been at the hands of other top Heavyweights.
But. we just don’t see Silva gaining much from this upcoming bout ... other than a paycheck.