It’s a long way before he gets cleared to fight again, but Antonio Silva already eyes a date for his return to the Octagon.
"Bigfoot" tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone after an epic five-round war with Mark Hunt in Brisbane, Australia, in December, and his suspension ends in September. Silva, who turns 35 on Sept. 14, wants to fight at the UFC Fight Night card planned for Brasilia, Brazil, on Sept. 13.
"I will be cleared to fight in September, and there’s a show planned for September 13 in Brazil, a day before my birthday," Silva told MMAFighting.com. "Fighting in Brazil would be the best birthday gift of all times. I attended to several UFC events in Brazil and it would be a dream coming true to fight there one day."
The Brazilian heavyweight returned to training Thursday after undergoing a shoulder surgery in January, and he’s hungry to get back inside the Octagon.
"It hurts so much to be out right now," he said. "I was born to fight. I've done this since I was 4 years old. It’s hard to see all the fights in the division and not be able to get in there. I went down the rankings, I’m number four now and Travis Browne is number three. I knocked him out and he’s above me in the rankings, but God knows everything."
Speaking of Browne, "Bigfoot" would love to make his UFC return against "Hapa", who recently suffered a unanimous decision loss to Fabricio Werdum.
"It would be a wonderful fight for me, for sure," he said. "He’s a super tough fighter and is well ranked. I want to fight the best and would be great to fight him.
"He was doing great until he fought Werdum. He keeps getting better. I usually don’t call anyone out. I only called out two fighters during my MMA career, (Alistair) Overeem and Josh Barnett. I usually don’t do that, I just have to be ready for anyone."
Silva blamed Dr. Marcio Tannure, the medical director of the Brazilian MMA Athletic Commission (CABMMA), for testing positive following his fight with Hunt. He said he would sue the doctor, but decided to drop the case.
"I had two lawyers taking care of that, but unfortunately he was hired by the UFC," "Bigfoot" said. "He’s not only the CABMMA doctor now, but also UFC’s doctor in Brazil, so I can’t fight against my employer. I can’t risk losing my job for that.
"I had videos showing him injecting (TRT) on me, I had emails and everything, but I had to give up on that."
Silva won’t be able to continue his testosterone replacement therapy after the Nevada State Athletic Commission and CABMMA banned the treatment, but he found out later it would be for the best.
"After the suspension, I went to two endocrinologists and they told me I should thank God that I was suspended," he said. "They said that if I continued taking the dosage (of hormone) Dr. Tannure told me to, I would have liver cancer in a year."