Almost two years after an epic 25-minute fight in Brisbane, "Bigfoot" and "Super Samoan" return to Australia to co-headline UFC 193 at Melbourne’s Etihad Stadium on Nov. 14. However, according to Silva, it wasn’t the first opponent offered following his UFC 190 win over Soa Palelei.
"At first they mentioned a possible fight against (Stefan) Struve, but days later they said it would be Hunt in Australia," Silva told MMAFighting.com. "I immediately said yes, because we did a great fight in 2013, and I know we can do one even better this time."
Silva, who suffered a pair of knockout losses before bouncing back with a win over Palelei after facing Hunt, expects the fight to deliver one more time.
"A fight is a fight and anything can happen," he said, "but I’m sure we both will get inside the Octagon going for the win and the knockout all the time, like the first time."
Silva and Hunt fought for 25 minutes in 2013, but this time it’s going to be a three-round fight. The Brazilian was ahead in two of the three scorecards going into the fourth round (29-28, 29-28, 28-29) in 2013, and expect both fighters to benefit from the bout being a 15-minute contest.
"I’m sure it will benefit both of us because it’s 10 minutes less, so we won’t save any energy at all in the fight," Silva said. "The difference between a five-round fight and a three-round fight is gigantic."
The UFC expects to sell out the Etihad Stadium with 70,000 fans in November, and fighting Hunt in enemy territory one more time doesn’t bother the former EliteXC heavyweight champion.
"I fight for a long time, and the only time I had the crowd behind me was when I fought in Brazil, so I’m used to being the underdog," he said. "I feel honored of being in this card, and I’m sure it’s going to be one of the biggest events in Zuffa history."
For some, UFC 193 might answer a big question. Days after the thrilling bout in 2013, the UFC announced that Silva failed his post-fight drug test for elevated levels of testosterone. "Bigfoot", who was under the testosterone replacement therapy (TRT), blamed CABMMA doctor Marcio Tannure for his drug test failure.
Silva, who was using TRT for the first time in that fight, doesn’t think a loss to "Super Samoan" in November would mean he was only able to fight five rounds in 2013 because of the treatment.
"It was embarrassing at first, but it’s in the past. It’s new life now," Silva said. "Zero obligation. I don’t have any concern of proving anything to anyone. I’ve done great fights in my professional career and didn’t use anything to win them. What happened was a mistake, and I will do a great fight and go for the win all the time."