Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix semi-finalist Antonio Silva did an interview with Sherdog today that led to some surprising statements. Bigfoot is normally a very humble individual who doesn't offer up a ton of negativity in interviews, but he certainly had some stuff to say about fellow HWGP fighter Josh Barnett and former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar. The man who last defeated Fedor Emelianenko minced no words about the controversial Barnett:
"I’ve been fighting since 2004 and have never had any issues with another athlete, even the most stuck-up," explained Silva. "Friendship, for me, is everything, but Josh is a weird guy, a guy who doesn’t greet you when you enter the elevator, doesn’t even say ‘good morning.’ It’s how he treats Brazilian fighters especially. It’s the same thing with [Barnett and] Werdum.
"But when [Barnett] sees Fedor, [UFC President] Dana White or [UFC Chairman and CEO Lorenzo] Fertitta, he runs to them and stays by their side all the time. He makes me sick. He’s the classic kiss-ass, a rude man …" added Silva. "I really want to face Barnett and I’ve already said I consider him a filthy person, even though he is a great fighter, and that I’ll beat him up and close both of his eyes."
Josh Barnett is never one to back away from a verbal battle, so you can bet he'll have a response to that. Bigfoot wasn't done though, turning to the subject of Lesnar and his opinion on why Brock had to pull out of his fight with Junior dos Santos at UFC 131:
"I don’t want to judge anyone and I really wish it’s not a big health problem for [Lesnar], but I have some doubts," Silva said. "That big guy doesn’t like being punched. In his last fights, he was put in the fetal position by Shane Carwin and Cain Velasquez, which is humiliating for a fighter. I think he pulled out of the fight against ‘Cigano,’ who is a real heavy puncher and a real tough opponent for someone who doesn’t like being punched."
Silva's next fight in Strikeforce will be against the winner of the June 18th Alistair Overeem vs. Fabricio Werdum fight. We'll have to see if the HWGP trash talk gets ramped up in reaction to these out-of-character statements from Silva.