Antonio Silva wants to share his side of the story.
After leaving the main event of Taura MMA 11 in Florida last Friday due to problems with the organization, Silva (19-12-1) already agreed to fight against American Chris Barnett (21-6). The two heavyweights are set to come to blows in France on Dec. 12 in fledgling organization Arena Fight Championship. On Wednesday, “Bigfoot” spoke to Sherdog, where he explained the whole situation involving Taura MMA.
“It was absurd,” Silva said flatly. “They [Taura MMA] promised to pay me some advanced money in August in order to help my camp expenses and never deposited. In the week of the fight, they found out that one exam I sent in October needed to be made again, and they guaranteed there was no time left for that, which is not true. Unfortunately, the event was not professional with me. Actually, they were doing two events at the same time, one week in Brazil and the next one in USA, and didn’t have enough people to take care of bureaucracy, like exams and visas.”
Silva continued, “I’m sad for that because Brazil has a lot of talent and we need more big events coming, but those guys are not professionals and I’m sure Taura will not last too long. My lawyer already asked to cancel the contract and I’m going to sue them for all money I have spent in this camp. I was sorry for [Brett] Martin, who also trained to face me, but it was not my fault. It was a total lack of respect [for] me, him and the audience.”
All was not negative for the former Ultimate Fighting Championship title challenger, who will be competing in a month in Europe.
“I’m really happy to sign with that great European organization,” Silva explained. “I’m going to fight against a very tough American, Chris Barnett, a guy who is coming from an impressive sequence of seven wins.”
About his opponent, Silva predicted a classic style matchup of striker vs. grappler.
“He is an explosive striker, Taekwondo champion, who kicks very well and also has a good boxing technique and knockout power,” said Silva. Confidence brimming, he further discussed his skills, saying, “My hands are sharp, but of course if I have the opportunity, I will take him down and use my jiu-jitsu and my ground-and-pound to decide.”
With 32 MMA fights, another in kickboxing and one more in bare knuckle boxing, the 41-year-old nicknamed “Bigfoot” is not thinking about retirement. Instead, the adoption of twin brothers in his home state of Paraiba in Brazil has made him more motivated to fight, even without being able to train in his usual camp of American Top Team.
“Due to all adoption process, unfortunately, I can't leave Brazil for a long period. But there are a couple of tough local guys who helped me to fight Martin, and will keep helping in my camp to Barnett. The most important [thing] is that I’m really happy with that amazing moment of my life, and when you are happy, you work better,” concluded Silva.