Bigfoot Silva UFC 156UFC champion Cain Velasquez caught challenger Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva with a right hand while exchanging in the pocket early in the first round of the UFC 160 main event in Las Vegas on Saturday. 

The punch knocked Silva to the canvas and Velasquez quickly swooped in on him.  Silva turtled up, trying to avoid the barrage of punches.  Silva claims, during the final seconds of the fight, before referee Mario Yamasaki stepped in to stop the action, that he received several illegal blows.

“I do agree that the fight was stopped too early,” said Silva during the UFC 160 post-fight press conference.

“I don’t want to say too much.  I’d rather you each watch the fight playback.  It’s clear watching it that took several illegal blows to the back of my neck,” said Silva.  “And the referee explained to me that the first illegal blow is a warning that should be issued.  The second should be penalized on points.  But in seeing the playback, you can see I took several illegal blows to the back of my neck.”

UFC president Dana White doesn’t think anyone who watched the fight will be “outraged” by the stoppage.

“I’ve seen worse stoppages,” he said.

Silva stands by his comments, however, and believes that referees should be held accountable for making mistakes, as in some other major sports.

“My way of thinking is that the same that applies to athletes that are penalized when they do something wrong or illegal should also apply to referees when they do something wrong.  They too should be penalized,” he said.

Despite thinking the fight was stopped early and he was the victim of illegal strikes, Silva didn’t want to take anything away from Velasquez.

“Cain Velasquez is a tremendous athlete and I don’t want my grievance on the illegal blows issue to take away from his tremendous athleticism,” said the 33-year-old Brazilian.

Switching gears from the past and looking to the future, Silva hopes to be back in action soon.

“I’m looking forward to my next big opportunity in the UFC, and I hope I can do a great fight for you guys in the near future.”

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