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Antonio Silva, Fabricio Werdum Eye Each Other but Look to Fedor

CHICAGO -- Antonio Silva has the biggest hand I ever shook. When I spoke to him Wednesday in Chicago, Silva told me he weighs 276 pounds, and he looks even bigger than that.

Fabricio Werdum, Silva's opponent in Saturday night's Strikeforce MMA fight, noticed Silva's size.

"He's huge," said Werdum, who weighs in the 230 range. "He's a big, strong guy. And he's got a big head and a big face."

Silva and Werdum were in the same gym Wednesday for an open workout, and even as they stood at opposite corners from each other, you could see them sizing each other up. The two Brazilians have had long roads to this fight in Chicago Saturday night -- Werdum was dismissed by the UFC after a knockout loss last year, Silva spent a year fighting in Japan after failing a steroid test -- but they both seem focused and ready to fight each other.

Werdum is arguably the best Brazilian jiu jitsu practitioner in all of MMA, and he said his victory at this year's Abu Dhabi Combat Club submission grappling competition was a major source of pride.

"ADCC was very good," Werdum beamed in his heavily accented English.

For his part, however, Silva said he doesn't think Werdum has the advantage over him on the ground. Silva (who has always denied using performance-enhancing drugs) said he believes he's so much bigger and stronger than Werdum that he'll simply overpower his opponent if the fight goes to the canvas. Silva said of fighting Werdum, "I am very ready."

But even as Werdum and Silva focused on each other, both of them acknowledged that they're hoping a big win on Saturday night will earn them a fight with Fedor Emelianenko next year. "I would like very much to fight Fedor," Werdum said.

Silva, the former EliteXC heavyweight champion who was discussed as a potential opponent for Fedor in Japan a few years ago, also said he would like to get a shot at Fedor in 2010. Left unspoken, of course, is the possibility that Brett Rogers could beat Fedor in Saturday night's main event. But everyone expects Fedor to take care of business Saturday, and both Werdum and Silva think that if they win on the undercard, they'll be next in line.

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