In 2016, in the midst of a 3-fight losing streak that had seen him go just 1-4 in his last five, the UFC released heavyweight MMA veteran Bigfoot Silva.
It took just two months for Silva to sign a new contract, and step into the ring in Russia to square off with Ivan Shtyrkov under the Titov Boxing Promotion banner in November, where Bigfoot Silva was involved in a rather controversial fight that saw him ultimately drop a unanimous decision after three hard-fought rounds.
Surprisingly however, even in a losing effort, Silva banked $200,000. The way his manager, Alex Davis, sees it, there’s more where that came from!
He spoke to MMAJunkie Radio:
“I think we found a new reality for ‘Bigfoot,’” Davis said. “They were extremely well-treated. Everything was perfect. We had no complaints whatsoever (except) for the judging of the fight.”
“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. But, it just so happens that none of that was true.”
“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. He’s going to fight again.
“He’ll fight a few more times in Russia, and he’ll make some good money,” he continued. “They’re paying better than in other markets, so you’ll see him fight again, for sure.”
The news of Bigfoot Silva’s massive payday comes on the heels of two major developments in the Russian MMA market. The first being an offer for UFC lightweight Khabib Nurmagomedov to fight in Russia for $5 million, and the second being UFC President Dana White revealing that the promotion could be hosting a Conor McGregor vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov fight card in Russia.