Mike Kyle (top) vs. Antonio Silva: Dave Mandel |
Kyle was approached to step in for an injured Valentijn
Overeem against Antonio
Silva, he was given two choices: fight for the typical
show-plus-win money, or take a flat rate, regardless of the bout’s
As a 3-1 underdog, few would have blamed Kyle for taking the flat
pay, which was considerably more than his show money. For Kyle,
however, the choice was clear. According to the American Kickboxing
Academy product, playing it safe would have equated to betting
“I just couldn't do that. I had to go out and believe in myself and
leave it all in the ring,” Kyle told Sherdog.com after his fight at
Strikeforce “Henderson vs. Babalu II” on Saturday.
In giving it his all, Kyle nearly pulled off a colossal upset.
Early in round one, he clipped Silva with a sharp right hand that
dropped “Bigfoot” and brought the crowd to its feet. As Kyle jumped
on the fallen giant, the size discrepancy between the two fighters
became startlingly apparent. Nonetheless, Kyle continued to pound
on the Brazilian, hoping for a referee stoppage which never
“I'm not going to use [his size] as an excuse. He was better than
me tonight,” said Kyle. “I thought it was going to be stopped and I
got really excited.”
At the post-fight presser, Kyle sported a bandage. The 30-year-old
claimed he broke his hand twice while delivering ground-and-pound
in the first frame.
“Once my right hand broke, mentally, I felt like I couldn't do
nothing to him,” said Kyle.
In round two, the King of the Cage light heavyweight champion found
himself caught in a Silva anaconda choke. Although he admitted to
feeling mentally beaten between rounds, Kyle refused to quit and
escaped the submission.
“I didn’t want to quit out there. There have been fights in the
past where I’ve quit, and I believe that [AKA teammate] Cain
Velasquez beat that quit out of me,” he said. “That choke was
tight, but I had to leave it all in the cage.”
Eventually, though, the size difference caught up with Kyle, who
was mounted by Silva and finished with punches at the 2:49 mark of
the second round.
Although Kyle walked away with another loss on his record, his
performance against the world-ranked Silva turned some heads.
Giving away over 40 pounds, Kyle nearly pulled off the shocking
upset, as he did when he knocked out current Strikeforce 205-pound
Cavalcante in June 2009. When asked about Kyle's chances as a
light heavyweight contender, Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker was
“I think Mike is right in the mix, and he keeps getting better,”
said Coker. “He has the ability to fight at both weights, and I
think his stock went up tonight.”