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‘Bigfoot’ Silva on Frank Mir fight: ‘I always fight better when I’m coming off a loss’

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Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Frank Mir has lost four in a row in the UFC, and he has a tough challenge ahead of him. The two-time heavyweight champion will meet Antonio Silva at UFC 184 on Feb. 28, which is a tall order to snap a losing streak that goes back to 2011. The thing is..."Bigfoot" is also desperately looking for the victory.

Silva has gone 0-2-1 in his past three UFC bouts, having lost to current champion Cain Velasquez and resurgent heavyweight Andrei Arlovski, while forcing a majority draw against Mark Hunt. In the latter, Silva tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone, which put an asterisk on one of the best fights of the year.

Going winless in four consecutive bouts would be a devastating nosedive for the former UFC title contender. Yet, even with the ramifications being what they are, he’s confident.

"Nobody wants to go through a losing streak like that, so we’re both hungry to get the victory," Silva told MMAFighting.com. "I always fight better when I’m coming off a loss. That’s my goal for this fight."

Sllva holds knockout wins over Alistair Overeem and Travis Browne under the UFC banner, and celebrates an opportunity against another former UFC champion.

"I don’t choose opponents -- I’m always ready to fight anyone the UFC thinks this is the best fight for me," he said. "Frank Mir is a former champion and is very popular here in the United States. We’re both coming off a loss and we both need this victory, so it’s going to be a great fight for the fans."

Like Mir, Silva got involved with martial arts by training jiu-jitsu as a kid, but their MMA records are significantly different. Mir finished nine of his 16 wins via submission, while the Brazilian only scored three submission finishes in 18 MMA wins. Silva is confident he can become the first to tap the former UFC champion, though.

"Of course -- that’s what I train for. I have to go in there confident that I can do it," Silva said. "Nothing is impossible in sports. I have what it takes [to submit him]. I’ve fought great grapplers throughout my whole career and I was never submitted. I’ve fought Werdum, who has the best jiu-jitsu in MMA, so I will be ready for Mir. If I can keep this fight standing, it could be the less complicated way to beat him.

"Frank Mir is originally a grappler, he has a good ground game, but he also has a good stand-up game. I have to be ready for everything. The fight starts standing, but anything can happen in a fight. A high-level athlete has to be ready for any type of situation if he wants to be the champion one day."