Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva joined an exclusive club Saturday night when he became the second man to defeat Russian MMA legend Fedor Emelianenko in the opening round of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix; he was only beat to the task this past June by Fabricio Werdum. Silva dominated Emelianenko throughout the second round of a fight which started off competitively, holding the mount position and hammering away at “The Last Emperor” until his right eye resembled ground chuck. The swelling of his eye was too severe for the doctor’s comfort, who halted the fight in between rounds two and three–a decision which Silva recently told MMAFighting.com’s Ariel Helwani was a surprising one.
“Yes,” he said when asked if he was surprised by the stoppage. “But when I looked at him on the other side of the ring I saw that his eye was very swollen and I would’ve caused more damage to his eye and end up hurting him bad.”
Silva also told Helwani that he agreed with referee Dan Miragliotta’s decision not to halt the bout during the second round because Emelianenko is a fighter of high enough caliber to survive in deep water.
“I don’t think so, because a good fighter has to fight in the good and the bad and he’s an excellent fighter and he knows how to weather the storm,” he said.
“Bigfoot” could end up carrying the mantle of “The Man Who Retired Fedor,” as Emelianenko hinted strongly that he is considering hanging up the gloves following his second loss, but Silva doesn’t see “The Last Emperor” walking away from MMA just yet.
“No, I don’t think so,” Silva said of Fedor retiring. “I think he has a lot to show still. I think he’s gonna come back, fight again and he’s gonna come back better and he’s still gonna do a lot of good fights.”
With his win, Silva advances to the semi-final round of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix and will next face the winner of Alistair Overeem Vs. Fabricio Werdum, provided the winner of the bout remains uninjured.