Antônio "Bigfoot" Silva gave a exclusive interview to brazilian MMA blog "Mano a Mano".
(HT: Mano a Mano)
(Translated by edtSD)
Mano a Mano: Was there anything new in your training camp for the Fedor fight?
Bigfoot: There was nothing different from the training camp that I had for the fight against Andrei Arlovski, I just raised the workload of training.
Mano a Mano: You looked bigger and stronger in the fight. Did you ever fought with all that weight before? How did you felt during the fight?
Bigfoot: I fought with just about 3 kilos (6.6 pounds) over the usual weight that I always fight. That´s my walkaround weight, I just put more muscles and I felt very good thanks to God. If there were a third round I would´ve fought it in the same pace.
Mano a Mano: Fedor hit you with some cleans shots in the first round. Have you ever took stronger punches in you career?
Bigfoot: To be honest, what I felt the most was his explosiveness, more than his power. I´ve already sparred with a lot of people some of them with heavier hands.
Mano a Mano: You had the chance to finish the fight a couple of times. You think that you could´ve finished Fedor or it was his merits to have escaped you attempts?
Bigfoot: It´s true. There was a lack of technique in some moments, some small details that plays a huge part in the Jiu-Jitsu game. But he has a lot of merits because he is a warrior with a huge heart and he doesn´t give up easy.
Mano a Mano: Have you felt in the second round that it was time to finish the fight? How was your mental game at that time?
Bigfoot: I was pretty confident because I knew that I had won that round and that he was hurt. So in my mind I just had do the same things that I had done in the second round.
Mano a Mano: You stated that in your head you saw a movie of your life when they told you that Fedor wasn´t coming back for the third round. What were your exact thoughts? What were the biggest obstacles in your life and career?
Bigfoot: Yes there was a movie. I thought really quick that I had accomplished the dream of fighting Fedor and I had beat him. Then I thought about my life path as a athlete since I was 4 years old until now that I am 31 and I´ll try to sum it up or else I´ll spend five hours writing about it [laughing]. The main obstacle was the total lack of financial support in the beginning. Having to work 12 hours shifts to feed my family and going to train hungry because I had to leave work and go straight to the gym. But thanks to God I never gave up and here I am today.
Mano a Mano: Now its Werdum or Overeem: Who are you picking? Did you rather have a rematch with Werdum or fight for the first time against Overrem?
Bigfoot: I have Werdum winning. I know that it is a tough fight but I´m cheering for him and ´[if he wins] it will be great because one way or another we would have a Brazilian in the final.
Mano a Mano: Have you watched Kharitonove win over Arlovski? What did you think about that fight?
Bigfoot: I´ve saw later at home and I think that is time to Arlovski to retire because he does not have the ability to take shots anymore and everyone in the division have heavy hands.
Mano a Mano: In your opinion who will win, Barnett of Rogers?
Bigfoot: Barnett is a more rounded fighter but I´ll be rooting for Rogers.
Mano a Mano: Not even brazilians had you as a favorite to beat Fedor. This lack of confidence from the fans and media bothered you?
Bigfoot: Look, actually it didn´t bothered me at all. On the contrary, it gave me more strength to train harder and beat him. Everybody have their idols and the right to cheer to whoever they want. I am a fighter and I am also a fan but if there´s a brazilian in the octagon or in the ring I forget the fan side and I´ll be cheering for the brazilian. But not everybody thinks the same way.
Mano a Mano: You´ve stated that you meet Fedor after he left the hospital. How was it? Did he said something when you asked him not to retire?
Bigfoot: It´s true, we were celebrating in the hotel lobby at 5am when he arrived with his team. So I thanked him for the opportunity to fight him and asked him to give a second thought about the retirement idea because all of his fans still wants to see him fighting because he is a legend in the sport and the number one. He smiled, hugged me and kissed my head. He is a very humble person and that´s why he have such a wonderful career.
Mano a Mano: If you win the tournament you will be one of the most important heavyweights in actual days. Is the UFC in you plans or Strikeforce is your priority?
Bigfoot: Whoever wins this tournament will write his name in the story of MMA and the UFC is certainly a promotion that every fighter would wish to fight for. But I have a contract with Strikeforce until may and after that who knows.
Mano a Mano: Many people say that the weight difference was the major factor in your win but they forgot that Fedor faced fighters that were bigger and heavier than you. What do you have to say to those people?
Bigfoot: When I left my house heading to the fight my wife said "Baby you are going to win and then we will hear a lot of excuses and bla bla bla". Nobody wants to see their idle losing, but I´ve trained really hard. I gave up a lot of things in two months preparing for that fight. Fedor faced Zuluzinho, Hong Man Choi and Brett Rogers. Compared to them I am thinner and a midget [laughing]. He won all of those fights and nobody said a thing. But after he lost to a bigger fighter all the excuses and moans started. It´s part of the game and every person has a different view of things.
Mano a Mano: Congratulations for the amazing victory. Let us hear what do you have to say to fans, friends, family and sponsors.
Bigfoot: At first I want to thank God and then my parents, my wife, my kids, my brothers and my team who helped me a lot for this fight. Then everybody who cheered and prayed for me. I send a big hug a many thanks from the bottom of my heart.