With his UFC days behind him, Antonio “Bigfoot“ Silva still seems like he has a lot left in him outside of the MMA leader.
After a brutal knockout loss to Roy Nelson in September, the veteran heavyweight ventured off to Russia to fight Ivan Shtyrkov only two months later under the Titov Boxing banner. The announcement generated a degree of controversy, skepticism and concern given previous controversy involving that organization and veteran Jeff Monson.
In part, the controversy was warranted. The fight was a strange one conducted in a ring and was plagued with referee calls that spectators and analysts found to be more than problematic. The fight ended in a decision loss and showed Silva had plenty left in him as a fighter, but raised further concerns about the legitimacy of the bouts he would continue to participate in.
In a recent talk with MMA Junkie, his manager Alex Davis wished to dispel any doubts and praised the treatment given to Bigfoot while in Russia.
“A lot of people in the media started shooting at me, saying I was a lousy manager because I was sending him out there in the jungle in Russia and they’d done that to Jeff, and we were worried,” Davis said. “But it just so happens that none of that was true.”
Davis also touched on Bigfoot’s popularity in Russia, leading to a working relationship that aims to have him fight for Titov again in the future. It appears that his Strikeforce win over legend Fedor Emelianenko has made him a notable figure in that country.
“Everybody in Russia remembers him against Fedor (Emelianenko),” Davis said. “He’s got a big following in Russia that we didn’t realize. Even at this fight, when they gave the decision to the Russian, the crowd booed. He’s a hero there, so he gets a second breath in his career.
Silva and Davis would like to have a fight against former Bellator heavyweight champion Vitaly Minakov, yet nothing has been confirmed in terms of this being in the works or not. Either way, Bigfoot appears to be thriving in a post-UFC career that may not be as kind to some other heavyweights in his age group.