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‘Bigfoot’ Silva doubts Ivan Shtyrkov will accept rematch after being sent to the hospital

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Wagner Carmo, Inovafoto

After a four-year run in the UFC, Antonio Silva headlined a MMA card in Russia against undefeated Ivan Shtyrkov on Nov. 18, but the outcome wasn’t exactly what he expected.

After a close first round, "Bigfoot" was dropped and punished by the Russian heavyweight in Yekaterinburg, Russia. After somehow finding a way to survive, the Brazilian came back and almost finished Shtyrkov in the third. In the end, Shtyrkov won via unanimous decision.

Still in Russia a few days after the fight, Silva talked to MMA Fighting about the contest, and said he’s glad the referee didn’t stop the bout in the second round.

"He was a strong young athlete. It was a good fight," Silva told MMA Fighting. "The first round was close, and I got beat up in the second [laughs]. I thought the referee would stop the fight in several moments, that’s why I never stopped moving. Even though I was being punished, I was able to make it to the third round in good shape."

"Bigfoot" complains that a few punches to the back of the head in the second round affected him, but he "never gave up in any moment." In the third, Silva came close to finishing his opponent, but the referee inexplicably stopped the action to give Shtyrkov some time to recover.

"I didn’t understand that," Silva said. "The referee stopped the fight in two different occasions and I had no idea why he was doing that. He did it when my opponent was on all fours position and I was on top, and the second time when I landed a good uppercut. And they even finished the third round before it was over."

Before the decision was read, "Bigfoot" was confident on the victory.

"The Russian crowd booed the decision because I absolutely won the fight," he said.

Despite the loss, Silva’s manager Alex Davis is proud of the heavyweight’s performance in Russia.

"The first round was close. (Shtyrkov) won the second round, and ‘Bigfoot’ won the third," Davis said. "However, when ‘Bigfoot’ landed a good punch in the third, the referee gave (Shtyrkov) too much time to recover in a moment where ‘Bigfoot’ would probably have knocked him out. But we understand that we’re fighting in Russia and ‘Bigfoot’ knew he had to finish the fight."

Silva’s performance in the third round, after a one-sided round for Shtyrkov in the second, Davis says, shows that some of "Bigfoot’s" losses in the United States could have been avoided.

"’Bigfoot’ has said a lot in the past that some of his first were stopped too early," Davis said. "If this fight had taken place in the U.S., the referee would probably have stopped it in the second round, and ‘Bigfoot’ came back and almost finished the guy in the third. In other fights, ‘Bigfoot’ would probably have come back and kept fighting if it wasn’t stopped so early. I’m proud of ‘Bigfoot’, and happy that we found a big market for him in Russia."

The negative result dropped Silva’s record to 19-11-0-1 with only one win over the past nine bouts, but Silva is open to fighting once again in Russia – and he wants a rematch with Shtyrkov.

"But I don’t think he will want (a rematch) because he had to go to the hospital after the fight," Silva said. "I don’t think he will want a rematch."

"There was a lot of bad press when we took this fight because of what happened with Jeff Monson," Davis added. "I’ve managed Jeff Monson in the past, and I know that not everything that happens around him is the way people talk. But we took the risk, went there. ‘Bigfoot’ was treated nicely by the promotion and the fans in Russia. It’s a nice show. We can’t complain about anything."