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Updated – Cain Velasquez vs. Antonio Big Foot Silva Official For UFC 146

Cain VelasquezOriginally published in January 2012 – Cain Velasquez will have a giant mountain to climb on the road back to the UFC heavyweight title…literally. According to several reports, Antonio Big Foot Silva will get the honor of fighting the former champion in a battle targeted for April.

Several MMA websites have reported that plans are in the works to bring the former Strikeforce fighter over to the UFC this April. Dana White and Joe Silva will waste no time with preliminary fights and feed the big man to the hungriest dog of the pack in what makes for one of the more intriguing UFC heavyweight battles of 2012.

The match pits two heavyweight fighters coming off of stunning first-round knockout losses. Silva comes to the UFC after suffering a Round 1 KO at the hands of Daniel Cormier in the second round of the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix (remember that?). Cain of course comes into the fight after suffering the most watched KO in UFC history at the hands of Junior Dos Santos.

If the idea was to give Cain a fight he should win to salvage the UFC’s biggest Mexican star, this is a dangerous move. While statistically Cain should win the fight, Silva is certainly no pushover. Silva wlll not only have the edge in size, but he also packs a powerful punch. Past his prime or not, the mauling Fedor Emelianenko suffered at the hands of Silva was one of the more impressive performances in 2011 and shows a man who should not be taken lightly.

While Silva is coming off a KO, the KO came early. Cain certainly has the speed to get in there as he did with Brock Lesnar and swarm Silva with punches for an early KO. At the same time, the standup fight would also give Silva equal opportunity at clobbering Velasquez for the quick KO or even worse, taking down the former champion and battering him on the ground. To me, the most fascinating thing about this fight will be the game plan Velasquez brings into the cage.

I am not convinced that Velasquez is as bad as he looked against Dos Santos. I still believe that Velasquez came into the fight badly hurt and if not for the magnitude of the broadcast, may have pulled out of the fight. I am not making excuses for him, but I still think he is the best in the division and one of the best overall in MMA. I would be shocked not to see him finish Silva for a win but the mental toll of getting KO’d on national television may be the biggest problem facing Velasquez going forward. That could all be put to rest with a classic Cain performance here.

With Alistair Overeem vs. Junior Dos Santos for the UFC heavyweight title not scheduled to take place until June or July, I would guess that the winner of this fight would fight once more (maybe against Frank Mir?) before being considered for a heavyweight title shot. Maybe even on the Dos Santos vs. Overeem undercard such was the plan with the welterweight division for UFC 143?

Regardless, check back for fight confirmation or an update on the situation in the next several days.

Update: Cain vs. Big Foot is now official for UFC 146 following the shakeup in the main-event. “Don’t believe any of the BS you read on the internet. Cain is fighting Bigfoot Silva May 26th in Vegas”

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an M.B.A. from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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