Nearly seven weeks after his upset of Alistair Overeem, Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva still has him on his mind.
But what he’s thinking about most is how his next fight is going to be different in its buildup than the Overeem fight was.
There was more than a little bit of talk before Silva fought Overeem at UFC 156 in February. There was talk during the fight, too. But Silva got the last word in. After Overeem dominated the first two rounds, Silva landed punch after punch early in the third round to drop the former top heavyweight contender in an upset.
“He talked a little too much, and he got what he deserved,” Silva on Wednesday told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio).
With that knockout, as well as his win over Travis Browne this past October, Silva (18-4 MMA, 2-1 UFC) earned a title shot against Cain Velasquez (11-1 MMA, 9-1 UFC) in May at UFC 160. That fight will be a rematch a year in the making – after Velasquez left Silva a bloody mess at UFC 146.
But Silva knows preparing for Velasquez this time will be different than preparing for Overeem, at least from a mental standpoint.
“I think Cain Velasquez is a real professional,” Silva said. “Overeem, he’s nothing more than a joke. It’s going to be good, because my motivation is going to come from my desire to win the belt and be the champion, not from wanting to prove myself to a specific opponent.”
Silva said for this fight against elite-level wrestler Velasquez, he’s working with Olympian Steve Mocco at American Top Team, as well as UFC heavyweight Shawn Jordan. Mocco also helped him prepare for Velasquez the first time around.
But most of all, “Bigfoot” believes the result from the pair’s first fight, which got Velasquez his shot at Junior Dos Santos in December and the belt back around his waist, will have no bearing on the rematch.
“It’s going to be a really different fight, and I’m going to take this belt back to Brazil,” he said. “I’m 1,000 percent confident for this fight, and I’m feeling really prepared. I think he really deserved the win that night. That was his night, and he did a good job. He has a great trainer, a great team and implemented the right strategy. The level we fight at, whoever makes the least mistakes wins the fight.”
Silva likely will need a mistake-free night to capture the heavyweight title. The early odds are more than 6-to-1 in Velasquez’s favor.
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