Barnett said on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour that fighting the Brazilian would give him money and attention and he wouldn’t try "to help this guy." Silva fired back, and he thinks that the real reason why the former UFC heavyweight champion won fight him is because he’s scared.
"I woke up this morning and saw his interview," Silva told MMAFighting.com. "He’s giving excuses because he’s scared. That’s the word. He says he won’t fight me because he doesn’t want to give me name and money with this fight, but the truth is he’s scared.
"I think he should take a look at the rankings. I’m ranked at no. 4 and he’s no. 5. The last guy that beat him got knocked out by me."
Barnett used the F word when referring to "Bigfoot" in the interview, which added more fuel to the fire.
"He crossed a line with his words in that interview," he said. "It was unprofessional, but it was good because he gave me another reason to train hard. I was so pumped up this morning that I went to the gym and trained even more. That’s how I like. If he wasn’t educated by his mother, I’ll teach him a lesson."
Silva has been trying to fight Barnett for years, and the UFC veteran told Ariel Helwani he doesn’t know the reason for all the bad blood.
"It was the fact that he just started talking trash on me out of nowhere for reasons that didn't make any sense," Barnett said. "He doesn't know me. I don't know, it was like he got super butthurt over something that didn't really make any sense -- my lack of talking to him, I guess. This isn't the Best Friend Fighting Championship. This is MMA. I don't have to be friends with everybody, but I didn't have any problem with you."
"He’s so cocky. He made fun about my disease (acromegaly) in the past," Bigfoot responded. "If you don’t want to be polite, I get it, but making fun of other’s diseases is too much. I was really upset with that. I want to fight him since that day, and now our paths have crossed in the UFC."
"Bigfoot" is suspended until Sept. 7 for testing positive for elevated testosterone levels after a majority draw against Mark Hunt in December, and Barnett hasn’t competed since a 60-second knockout loss to Travis Browne 21 days later. The Brazilian heavyweight knows it wouldn’t be an easy bout, but who said he wants one?
"He’s a well-rounded, tough fighter standing with a good ground game, but I always want tough fights," Silva said. "It would be a tough fight, but it could last a minute, like his last fight against Browne, or it would be like my last fight against Mark Hunt.
"I would go for the knockout all the time. I would try to hurt him as much as possible. I want to finish him like I did to Overeem, but I’m not sure the referee will be able to hold me this time."