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‘Bigfoot’ Silva says another UFC title shot ‘is inevitable’

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William Lucas, UFC

BRASILIA, Brazil -- Antonio Silva has only two losses under the UFC banner, and both came in first-round TKO losses to against heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez. That doesn’t mean he won’t try to avenge that loss and go after the UFC belt one more time, though.

"Bigfoot", who knocked out Travis Browne and Alistair Overeem inside the Octagon, is set to collide with Andrei Arlovski in the main event of UFC Fight Night 51 in Brasilia, Brazil, on Sept. 13, and he believes he’s one step closer from another title shot with a win.

"I believe that I will stay in the same spot I am today with a win over Arlovski," Silva told MMAFighting.com. "I’m ranked No. 4 in the UFC, so I believe they would give me an even tougher opponent next, and then I think I would be able to fight for the title again."

Silva, who fought to a draw in an instant classic against Mark Hunt in his last UFC appearance but tested positive for elevated testosterone levels after the five-round bout, doesn’t think he needs too many wins to get a shot to the gold.

"There are not many fighters in the heavyweight division, it’s not like the lightweights, so two or three big wins can get you a title shot," he said. "It’s not about how many wins can you get, it’s about who can you beat. I earned a title shot with wins over Browne and Overeem. After I fight Arlovski, they will probably give me another one and then I can fight for the title."

If Velasquez defends his title against Fabricio Werdum in November, "Bigfoot" might need more than a pair of wins to earn a third chance against the No. 1 heavyweight in the world after a pair of brutal losses in 2012 and 2013. He’s not in a hurry, though.

"When you beat everyone and there’s no one left, it’s inevitable. They have to give you another shot at the title," he said. "I will win my fights, and I ‘m sure I will have another chance even if it’s Velasquez."

"But a lot of things can change until it happens," he added. "Velasquez has a great opponent ahead, and Werdum can complicate a lot and take his title."

Thinking ahead might be a mistake, and that’s why Silva won’t underestimate Arlovski. The Brazilian went the distance against the former UFC heavyweight champion when they fought in 2010 in Strikeforce, and he sees them as different fighters today.

"We fought in 2010 and I won via decision, but a lot of things changed in four years. We both changed a lot," he said. "He did some good fights, had some big wins, and returned to the UFC. He’s a former UFC champion and knows how to fight under pressure, so I believe it’s going to be a great fight. I’m really hungry. We’re different fighters today. I have to be trained and focused because I have to prove myself again when I step inside the Octagon.

"It’s not a rematch for me. It’s a rematch for Arlovski. For me, it’s like we’re going to fight for the first time. I trained for five rounds and I don’t expect this fight to go that long. I don’t know how this fight is going to end, but I know how I’m going to fight. I’m hungry to win, and I want the finish."

Arlovski went 7-2 with one no-contest since their three-round fight in Strikeforce. "Bigfoot" built a 4-3-1 record, but believes the experience he gained against top opponents helped him evolve as a fighter.

"He’s more dangerous today, but so am I," he said. "I had many fights since, fought big names that helped me evolve as a fighter. I fought guys like Fedor (Emelianenko), Werdum, Travis Browne, Overeem and Hunt. I’m more mature now, a better fighter."

Born in Brasilia, Silva will headline a UFC card at Nilson Nelson gymnasium, a few miles away from where he lived 20 years ago.

"I never imagined I would be fighting at that arena. Never, in my whole life, I thought this could happen," he said. "It’s my sixth fight in the UFC, and it’s my fourth UFC main event... It’s an honor, and I want to thank them by giving the fans a great fight."