Bigfoot Burden
Bigfoot Burden

Antonio Silva believes that Fedor Emelianenko will become his springboard to the top of MMA.

How is the preparation going? What stage is the training process now?

Antonio Silva (A. S): Now we are at the final stage of preparation. There are just over a week and a half left to finally correct everything. Psychologically I am ready, I am in excellent physical shape, I have perfected my technique, it remains only to wait for the day of the fight. If the Lord helps me, then everything will work out. I will perform well and get this victory.

You invited several experienced coaches and sparring partners to your camp, who helps you with what exactly?

A. S: There are really good guys working with me, this is Guto Inocente - a monster, very fast, with good striking technique of arms and legs. Vitor Miranda is of the same class with him, they used to meet each other in the ring, but now they train together … There are also guys from Sweden, France and other athletes, they all came to help me, they have a style similar to Fedor. I train with heavyweights and lighter fighters to develop my speed and keep up with Fedor's explosive attacks. We decided that it makes sense to train with lighter sparring partners, thanks to this I can work on my movements and be faster in attack and defense.

You are better known as a drummer. Do you practice takedown defense, ground transfers, grappling, BJJ? Are you preparing yourself for battle on the ground?

A. S: An excellent coach, a strong wrestler who knows the technical base well, works with me, this is Marcus Aurelio, he helps me with training on the ground. Also now I am supported in this by Jorge Santiago (* Sengoku middleweight champion with ed.), I try to learn from them, improve my wrestling skills, so, so, when Fedor explodes, he knocks to the ground with a side blow "through the hand", or uses his body to move an opponent to the ground. This is how I train my wrestling, ground work and striking technique, trying not to get hung up on one thing.

Of course, I also train jiu-jitsu, in case I find myself on my back, like in a duel with Kyle, then I spent five difficult minutes, which I could hardly endure so as not to pass out. I realized that this was a big mistake, but I did not have the opportunity to prepare with my coach Mohammed Ouali, now I spent four weeks studying with him. I want to be ready for this fight, because it is like the last one for me.

What do you expect from Fedor Emelianenko in this battle? How do you think he will act?

A. S: Fedor has practically not changed over the past 7 or 8 years … He is a very technical, explosive fighter, with quick hands and a very strong ground-and-pound when he hits from above … But his style has not changed over the years. If you watch all of his fights, you will see that everything is going according to the same plan. Now he has his own camp, Ernesto Hoost works with him, but I'm sure when the fight is not in his favor, he returns to his original style, he will not change it, he will just be more careful in this fight, well, well returns after defeat. Thus, he will not risk it, because we are heavyweights and the first missed blow to the head can be decisive. He will try to regain his place in the top and I want to be in the top ten. The real winners in this fight will be the fans, as two monsters will be trapped in the same cage, ready to finish off each other.


Speaking at a press conference dedicated to the grand prix, you noted that Werdum showed Fedor's weaknesses, does this mean that your bet will be on the ground and BJJ?

A. S: Absolutely, Werdum has just demonstrated this. In some fights Fedor coped with defense on the ground, as was the case with "Minotaur" Nogueira and in many others, if you watch the fight with Mark Hunt … Some fighters had the opportunity to defeat him on the ground, but could not. This is one of the possible ways to defeat him, but there is another one that I will follow.

I am preparing for a standing fight, I am in good shape, which I did not have in a fight with Arlovsky, I was preparing for a fight on the ground, and in the end I spent 3 rounds in a standing position, but these are things that we can talk about now, when you are in a cage everything can change.

But as I told you, Werdum demonstrated his jiu-jitsu technique, but it takes a long way to go to the ground, but I want to use the opportunity to finish him off with punches if there is an opportunity to finish off on the ground. In the fight with Mike Kyle you ran into problems in the first round, it's no secret that Fedor also has very fast hands. How are you going to avoid the standing threat?

A. S: Right. Over the years Fedor has shown strong, fast right jabs.

You cannot make a mistake, you cannot stand in front of him, you must take a position and act first. You can't wait for his actions. I went through a tough first round in a fight with Mike Kyle, missed a blow and it was really hard for me, I tried not to pass out and defended myself as best I could … This is a good experience, every fighter must learn to win by getting out of a difficult situation. I had easy fights, I won a quick victory and now I proved that I can win when not everything goes in my favor, but I definitely had problems in this fight, I had to fix it, in Paraiba the only thing I do not I trained, there was a wrestling on the ground, I spent two months without wearing gloves, I trained incorrectly. But I am prepared for the fight by Fedor, I decided to return to Brazil, I came here with my first coach, who prepared me for a fight with Arlovski and fights at the beginning of my career, so now I am a different, more mature fighter, well prepared, I am sure that this fight will be different from the past.

Fedor stubbornly does not want to train in western gyms with foreign specialists and sparring partners, although it is no secret that almost any large gym will welcome him with open arms. Why do you think Fedor does not want to get a new training experience? Can you comment?

A. S: I don’t think so. The guy has proven through years of performances that it works. He lost to Werdum, who is great on the ground, it was Fabrisio's day, he has great technique, but I still don't think so … He demonstrated that his technique works, and I think he's just comfortable training with his family, and so far it has worked as it should. I don't think you should change the team that led you to victories. Now he has lost, he is organizing another training camp, he is looking for new guys, and I think if it works, then he is absolutely right. He is a good professional, but that was before meeting Werdum, because he lost to this guy, and he will give in to me too, you can bet your money on it.

After losing to Werdum, Fedor said that he was “just unlucky”, that he was “just in a hurry,” and he did not need to draw any conclusions or change anything in the training process. What is your opinion on this fight? Having lost to Werdum, did you change something in your preparation, did you draw any conclusions?

A. S: Fedor has not changed much over the past eight years. He has his own style, he is an explosive fighter, he constantly acts like this - he will wait a little for you, try on, and if you do nothing, he swoops at you with his punches through his hands, and if this is not enough to throw you on the floor, he uses his body to move to the ground, performs a takedown using the sambo technique … He believes that it works and does not want to change it. He is a professional and knows what is best for him.

After losing to Werdum, I tried to change a lot. I completely changed my approach to training, and today I have my own training camp - I made the decision to leave the American Top Team. I have a lot of friends there, the guys from ATT are my family in Florida, but, unfortunately, I could not fully train there as a heavyweight. The only heavyweight who trained there was Thiago Silva, and while I had to prepare for the fight with Werdum, he was injured, so I spent the most difficult part of the training process with Jorge Santiago. Who saved me in that fight was Wali, because thanks to him, I spent a lot of time wearing gloves, practicing striking techniques.

I had a pretty good first round, but then I broke my arm and in the second round it started to hurt. In the third round, I felt the hard way how the lack of training with heavyweights affected me, and how much Werdum has evolved. Many people said afterwards that I won that battle, and he was not rightfully awarded the victory, but I myself believe that this victory was given to him by God, it was time for him to shine. When he beat Fedor, I was very pleased and glad, because sometimes we understand that we need to change without losing, but simply letting others point out the holes in our game.

This happened, and today I organized my own (training) camp, I conduct my own, special trainings, and I felt the results already during the fight with Arlovsky. Then I was preparing in my camp with specially hired coaches and sparring partners, and I immediately evolved a lot.

In my fight with Mike Kyle, I experienced some difficulties, as I said, I needed to solve my affairs in Paraiba, at that time I could not do otherwise. As a result, I approached the fight insufficiently trained, but now I train in the same way as for the fight with Arlovski. For six weeks, my whole life was all about eating, sleeping and exercising. That's all. I think about Russian, think about victory and want to be on a par with the best.


How do you think Fedor lost his place at the top of the ratings after losing to Werdum? And if you beat Fedor, where do you see yourself in the top 10 heavyweight division?

A. S: In my opinion, Fedor should occupy at least the second line, given that Werdum is on the first. But I do not decide who will be in what position in the ratings, so I can only wonder that Fedor was number 1, Werdum beat him, and for some reason UFC fighters like Brock Lesnar in second place and Kane Velasquez are at the top. first … We don't know what criteria they use to determine the ratings, but I think that putting a guy with 30 fights and only one defeat below a guy with eight fights in total is crazy, for me it is impossible. In my opinion, Fedor is number 1, I think he has not stopped occupying the top line, at least taking into account his merits, the fighters with whom he met, and all the battles that he won.

I think if I win this fight, I will definitely be among the top three or four fighters in the division. At the moment I am on the tenth line. But having won this fight, I will enter the top three - the top four.

Fedor's management refused to fight you last December. Why do you think? How did you feel then? Does this fact motivate you today?

A. S: Firstly, I had to go against Fedor when I was fighting on Bodog, but he refused to fight with me. I was not known to the general public at that time, I was not among the tops, so he gave up this fight.

Then there was a question about our fight in Strikeforce, but he refused again. However, I think sometimes the decision to accept a fight or to refuse it is made not by the fighter, but by his manager. It can also depend on the promotion, because for the fight we need the consent of our manager, the promotion and the TV channel, in this case Showtime, and there is always a sea of paperwork behind the scenes of each fight. So it is sometimes not so easy to accept or refuse a fight. There are always many things outside of combat that people usually don't see.

But now, I believe, the right moment has come. God gave me this fight at the right time. Since my eighth fight, when I was still fighting in Brazil, the guys at X-Gym told me about the fight with Fedor, they wrote a three or four page article claiming that I am the guy who can beat Emelianenko. But God decided to postpone it. Now I am a more experienced fighter, having gone through all kinds of fights: both good and bad … Now I am much more mature, I think that the right moment has come, and everything will turn out as planned.

What is your prediction for the quarterfinals - who will win? Who do you think will meet in the final?

A. S: I am Brazilian until my last breath. If there is another guy from Brazil performing, even if he is a favorite, I will support mine, because Brazilian blood flows through my veins, and I will never root for representatives of other countries. I think Werdum has enough strength to win, Overeem is a muscular guy with a good stance and heavy punches, he just won the K-1 Grand Prix … He is very dangerous in a stance, but Werdum is experienced, Overeem cannot stand three rounds with with all his muscles, his wrestling skills are far from comparable to that of Werdum, although it is a long way and before the fight goes to the ground, they start it in a standing position, but I think Werdum will win.

I hope for Brett Rogers to win, I know that Josh Barnett has excellent technique and he is the favorite in this fight, but I want Rogers to win because he is a good guy, humble, fans love him, he is the complete opposite of Barnett. Also, I expect Arlovsky to win, in a stance against Kharitonov it will be difficult to do, but I want him to shine again among the heavyweights, because he is a former UFC champion, very technical, a really good fighter, I support Arlovsky.

Many people believe that Fedor or Alistar can withdraw from participation in the grand prix after the first fight and all this hype around the GP is nothing more than a PR move of Strikeforce, in the end we will just have a series of heavyweight fights. What do you think about this, will Strikeforce be able to keep its promises and hold the Grand Prix in the originally announced roster and within the specified timeframe?

AS: No, not at all … I am sure that the Grand Prix will reach the final, they are all great athletes. Overeem agreed not to fight in K-1 yet, although he still won't make it past the quarterfinals … He can go to K-1 because he won't even be able to win his first fight (laughs).

As for Fedor, many say now that he is going to "retire" and will not reach the end … I want to say that I am trained and ready to sacrifice everything for this fight. There are no favorites in it, I think the odds are 50/50, I'm not kidding. I do not lie at home on the couch, I train in the morning and in the evening, and I will do everything in my power to make him leave this Grand Prix after the first fight. At the same time, I do not want him to leave the sport because of this loss. I think he will not do that, because this guy is a legend, and he still has something to show the world. I just hope that he will not show it on me, but on other people (laughs).

Let's say you pass Fedor. Which Overeem-Werdum pair would you like to meet? Why?

A. S: As I said, I am a fan of Werdum, and I hope that the Brazilian will win.

If we fight each other, it will be a battle to feed our children, a professional fight. I really respect Werdum as a person, when we meet, we have lunch, dinner, train together, and there is no enmity between us. Coach Rafael Cordeiro is a great man, I admire him very much. If we ever have to face off in combat, it will be for MMA, to please the fans, not because of the rivalry.

The meeting with Werdum in the semifinals is good from the point of view that with such a variation there will be one Brazilian in the final. In general, I hope that he will defeat Overeem, and if we fight, it will be for our children, for the fans, but after that we will continue to communicate and have dinner together, as before. We are professionals, like football or volleyball. This is a sport, and we are its pros.

This interview will be read by Fedor and his management, if you want you can say a few words to the future rival

A. S: First of all, I want to express my gratitude for the opportunity to fight the MMA legend, Fedor. As they say, to become a legend, you must defeat the legend … To enter the circle of the best, you must defeat the best.

I train hard, my whole life is now focused on preparation. Fedor, think not about Werdum or Overeem, but about me, because you will have to face a difficult test.

Popular by topic