Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva may have been released from the UFC last week, but he won’t be out of work for very long.
The former heavyweight title challenger will be heading to Russia to take on Ivan Shtyrkov (4-0), an undefeated prospect who’s ended all four of his victories by first-round finish.
“We are very excited for the new opportunity,” Silva’s manager Alex Davis said. “‘Bigfoot’ was already in the gym today, preparing for the fight against Shtyrkov.
“Russia has become a big hub of the MMA world, and we are thrilled to be a part of it.”
Shtyrkov most recently defeated Jeff Monson by armbar, while Bigfoot will look to pick up his first win since 2015 over Soa Palelei.
Silva has had a rough stretch which led to his dismissal from the UFC, going 0-3 in his last three fights, losing all three by brutal knockout.
However, Bigfoot holds impressive victories over Fedor Emelianenko, Alistair Overeem, and Travis Browne.
Silva was released from his UFC contract last week following his most recent knockout loss to Roy “Big Country” Nelson in his native Brazil. Before the loss to Nelson, Bigfoot was knocked out in 16 seconds by Stefan Struve in May.
Bigfoot spoke about his upcoming fight in Russia on Tuesday:
“I’m very excited about the upcoming fight against Shtyrkov,” Silva said. “I have made many fans in Japan, Brazil and the U.S., and I will make amazing fans in Russia. Thank you to all my fans, RCC Boxing Promotions from Russia and to Alex Davis and Narcis Mujkic, who made this fight happen.”
Bigfoot’s trip to Russia could lead to an eventual rematch with Emelianenko, who has been looking for opponents since coming out of retirement in 2015 after a three year hiatus.
How do you see Bigfoot’s fight with Shtyrkov going down? If Silva defeats the undefeated prospect, does a rematch with Fedor interest you? Sound off, PENN Nation!