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‘Bigfoot’ Silva plans to dedicate win over Frank Mir to 'Big Nog'

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Guilherme Cruz, MMA Fighting

Frank Mir hasn’t won a fight since Dec. 10, 2011, and that’s one of the reasons why Antonio Silva feels pressured to win at UFC Fight Night 61.

Bigfoot vs. Mir, initially scheduled for UFC 184 in Los Angeles, will headline UFN 61 in Porto Alegre, Brazil, on Feb. 22, and the Brazilian heavyweight seeks redemption after suffering a first-round knockout to Andrei Arlovski in his last bout in Brazil. He also wants to hand Mir his fifth straight loss.

"UFC 184 was a big card in the United States, but they offered me this opportunity to fight again in Brazil and I took it," Silva told MMAFighting.com. "Unfortunately, it didn’t go my way the first time I fought there, and now I want to win to make my countrymen happy."

"There’s nothing like fighting in Brazil," he continued. "I’ve watched a few UFC shows there, I fought there once, and I’ve never seen a crowd like that. When they offered me to fight there, I didn’t think twice. I want to erase that loss in September and start all over. It’s going to be great for me."

Mir enters the main event coming off losses to Alistair Overeem, Josh Barnett, Daniel Cormier and Junior dos Santos, but "Bigfoot" doesn’t expect an easy win despite his opponent’s recent record.

"The negative side of fighting a guy in this situation is that I have the obligation to win. You can’t lose," he said. "The positive side is that he’s a former champion and everybody respects and admires him in the United States.

"Every fighter has ups and downs in his professional career. He’s coming off losses, but he’s not losing to a bunch of nobodies. He lost to top 10 heavyweights. There’s no easy fight in the top 15 of the UFC heavyweight division. I believe he’s coming hungrier to win. I’m also coming off a loss, and I want to bounce back up."

Mir hasn’t won a fight since an epic first-round submission over Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in Toronto, breaking his arm after surviving a barrage of punches and elbows from "Minotauro". "Bigfoot" needs the victory after going winless in his past three bouts, and plans to dedicate a win over Mir to his friend Nogueira.

"‘Minotauro’ is a good friend so the win will taste better, just like when I beat Fedor Emelianenko, but I don’t see it as vengeance because we are professionals," he said. "I fight for my family, he fights for his family. He beat ‘Minotauro’ because he worked hard and deserved it. I don’t see this as revenge, but I obviously want to win, and I will dedicate this victory to ‘Minotauro’."

Finished twice in his past there bouts, "Bigfoot" admits he overlooked Arlovski, and guarantees he learned from his mistakes. With his back against the wall, the Brazilian heavyweight wants to prove he’s a different fighter against Mir in Porto Alegre.

"I trained hard my stand up game after the mistakes I made in the Arlovski fight," Silva said. "I fought five rounds with Mark Hunt and didn’t think Arlovski would be capable of knocking me out. I’m a better fighter now, and I will knock Frank Mir out."