In September of this year, Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva was knocked out by Roy Nelson. The knockout marked Silva’s fifth strike-induced loss in six fights which, unsurprisingly, prompted his release from the UFC.
Just days after his release from the UFC, news broke that Bigfoot had signed on for a fight in Russia, with the same league that infamously tricked Jeff Monson into competing with an injury in May of this year. As luck – or bad luck – would have it, his opponent was the same man who beat up the injured Monson in May, Ivan Shtyrkov.
Earlier today, Bigfoot competed in this fight against Shtyrkov. The fight oozed with all the controversy and corruption we expected.
The first round was all Shtyrkov’s – though this was mainly because Bigfoot offered little in the way of aggression himself. The second round, meanwhile, was decisively Shtyrkov’s, who punched Bigfoot right through the ropes (which resulted in a mid-ring reset, rather than a knockout win), and nearly finished him again as the round wore down. The third round, finally, is where corruption reared its disfigured head – and unabashedly so.
By this point, the musclebound Shtyrkov was nearly out of batteries. Sensing his advantage in the cardio department, Bigfoot put his foot on the gas, and began to pummel his exhausted foe. Mid-way through this final round, he sent Shtyrkov careening to the canvas with a punch, but before he could follow up with any ground strikes, the referee had stepped in to give the Russian time to recover. No rhyme, no reason, no explanation, just an overt bit of corruption as the referee stopped the fight so that Shtyrkov could regain his composure. It was a grim scene.
Once the fight had resumed, Bigfoot maintained the momentum until the third round ended, but it was too little, too late. The Russian’s efforts in the first two rounds earned him a unanimous decision win – though his being saved from a loss in third means there will always be an asterisk attached to the victory.
Though this loss is bound to sting for Bigfoot, he’ll apparently be paid $500,000 for his efforts. Whether he receives this sum from the cloak-and-dagger promotion he fought for, however, remains to be seen.
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