He entered into the semi-finals with a full head of steam, having defeated Fedor Emelianenko via TKO in a huge upset, but Antonio Silva’s dreams of winning the Strikeforce World Heavyweight Grand Prix were dashed when he met tournament alternate Daniel Cormier in the semi-finals.
Cormier, an Olympic-caliber wrestler, won the fight by virtue of his vastly-improved striking skills, which he employed to knock out his much larger opponent in the very first round. Silva spoke with Tatame.com about the emphatic loss, revealing that he stayed in the tournament despite the fact that he has an injury which needs surgery.
“I had a game plan, but I could never imagine he’d punch me like that,” Silva said of the first shot which left him wobbled. “I wasn’t underestimating him, but after he punched me I couldn’t see a thing, I wasn’t controlling my body anymore. I was doing things automatically, I could only see shadows. When I stood up I was dizzy. I was really dizzy after that jab, but I went for it. If I’m losing, at least I’ll lose while fighting. It happened, he deserve the credits. I was well prepared, but he punched me. We didn’t even really fought.”
Silva told Tatame that, much like his teammate Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante, who broke his arm at the same event and is due back in Rio de Janeiro to get cut on, he is planning on undergoing an operation to address an injury that he left ignored to keep his spot in the tournament.
“I’ll come back to Rio, I have a surgery scheduled. I came to fight knowing I would have to go through a surgery,” he said. “I didn’t want to leave this GP, once Overeem left, and if I quit it wouldn’t be nice. Since Strikeforce belongs to Zuffa now, I could even be cut off. It’s not an excuse, I used corticoid, but I was reckless. Cormier is to be congratulated, I made a mistake. I’ll go through a surgery now and I won’t fight ADCC. The doctor said that within a month I’ll be back to the trainings, and I hope to fight as soon as possible, maybe in December. I want to fight once again until the end of the year so I have a chance to redeem myself.”
Silva fought Cormier at Strikeforce: Barnett vs. Kharitonov, which went down at the US Bank Arena in Cincinnati, Ohio this past Saturday night.