One of Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva's most important attributes is his size. A former super heavyweight, the 6-foot-4 Brazilian usually cuts significant pounds to make the 265-pound heavyweight limit for his fights.
"For first time I'm at 270 three weeks out of the fight," Silva said through an interpreter at Thursday's media teleconference. "Things are going extremely well, I'm very light and fast."
The way Silva sees it, with the bout shaping up as a style clash, slimming down will help counteract one of Velasquez's biggest strengths.
"We're diametrically opposed," said Silva. "I have jiu-jitsu and he has wrestling. I see his speed and his lightness and I'm trying to counter it."
It's been an interesting ride for Silva, the former Elite XC champion. After defeating Emelianenko in the opening round of the Strikeforce Grand Prix, he was knocked out by Daniel Cormier in the semifinals. But Silva says he hopes Cormier wins Saturday night's tournament final against Josh Barnett.
"I was disappointed [to lose to Cormier], he said. "But I'm rooting for Cormier. Barnett is a difficult fight but I'm rooting for Cormier to win."
Silva's glad with how everything panned out in the wake of the Cormier loss, though, considering he's now on one of the biggest cards of the year and has the chance to meet the former UFC champion.
"I faced three great opponents in Strikeforce, [Fabricio] Werdum, Fedor, and Arlovski, now I get the chance to face guys like Velasquez. It's a great opportunity the UFC has given me."