Antonio Bigfoot Silva has shocked the MMA world once again. Bigfoot pulled off a gigantic upset at UFC 156 when he shut the lights on Alistair Overeem.
[adinserter name=”366 left”]This is why you don’t cute in MMA. The plan was easy. Alistair Overeem was supposed to challenge for the UFC heavyweight title. The fight was set until Overeem was pulled after failing a PED test. The UFC could have played it safe and booked Overeem right back in the title fight upon his return. Instead they gambled and they lost big, to the tune of millions of dollars.
Overeem made his return to the UFC after a 13+ month layoff. Overeem was matched up against Antonio Silva. On paper this was supposed to be an easy tune up fight for Overeem. Overeem mocked Silva over the last few weeks in the media. He called him a moving big target. Well that moving big target rocked his world at UFC 156.
The heavyweight collision saw a lot of Overeem and Silva tying up in the first two rounds with Overeem winning most of those battles. There wasn’t a whole lot of action although Overeem did connect on some knees in those cage battles. The two engaged a few times but nothing came out of it. Silva did come on strong at the close of round two. At one point Overeem took Silva down. It looked like an easy win for Overeem…and then came round three.
“Fight and win inside the cage, not outside,” Silva said after the fight. “He talked a lot of s— but I believe in myself.”
Joe Rogan pointed out during the fight that Overeem was showing less and less respect for Silva’s punching as the fight progressed. He dropped his hands, stuck out his chin, and practically mocked Silva. He even had words for Silva as the two separated to end round two. I don’t know what he said but he woke up a sleeping giant. Silva went for broke and teed off on Overeem. Silva landed 10 nasty punches to drop Overeem like a ton of bricks at the 25-second mark of the round with a KO finish you will see replayed for the next ten years.
Silva now has the honor of stopping the two favorites of the Strikeforce Grand Prix Heavyweight Tournament and the honor of costing the UFC millions and millions of dollars. Overeem vs. Velasquez is out and even though they can always get it back, it will never be the same. Overeem was seen as an unstoppable machine. That aura can never come back and that is something that will cost the UFC big time.
Not all is lost on Overeem. The loss sets up a great situation for the UFC to book Overeem vs. Junior Dos Santos. These two have been talking trash on each other for almost a year. It really is a win-win at that point for the UFC. The winner gets a UFC championship shot and the UFC can cash in on a grudge match that fans will pay money to see. The downside here is that neither man will likely recover from a loss so it becomes an all or nothing situation for both men. A spectacular win by either man will bring a lot of money into a heavyweight title fight with the champ.
The biggest question here is what do you do with Cain Velasquez? There is nobody out there remotely deserving of a title fight. Daniel Cormier would solve everything but he and Velasquez are teammates and won’t fight. I suppose you can go right back to a rematch with JDS but they made Cain get a win back, so JDS should theoretically have to as well. Silva would be ideal if not for the fact that he got massacred by Velasquez last year. Roy Nelson would probably be the only other option at this point and I can’t imagine that is where the UFC would like to go.
I can’t help but also think that this helps former UFC heavyweight champion Josh Barnett. Barnett is currently in negotiations to return to the UFC. The heavyweight division desperately needs depth, especially if Cormier moves down to light heavyweight. Barnett is a known commodity and could jump right into that top mix of heavyweights. It wouldn’t even surprise me to see the UFC justify giving him a title shot right off the bat.
[adinserter name=”366 right”]Keep an eye out on Jon Jones. Jones can be the wild card here. Jones is fighting Chael Sonnen in April but he has said he’d like to move to heavyweight in 2013. Going to Jones vs. Velasquez would result in keeping Velasquez idle for a long time so maybe that isn’t the answer. However, if the UFC can’t figure anything out maybe they do sit Velasquez and wait on Jones. The fight would be perfect for the annual summer super show.
There is a lesson to be learned here. When you have a money fight, you don’t get cute, you take it. The UFC got cute tonight and got burnt. I would suspect you won’t see that happening again in the near future.
Check back soon for full results and a rundown of the entire UFC 156 event.
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