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‘Bigfoot’ Silva volunteers to rematch Fedor Emelianenko in Bellator-Rizin show in Japan

Antonio Silva stopped Fedor Emelianenko with his ground and pound back in 2011.
Esther Lin, Strikeforce

Antonio Silva has a busy schedule ahead, but he wants to add another fight before the end of the year.

The former UFC heavyweight title contender is currently booked to make his bare-knuckle boxing debut against Gabriel Gonzaga in the main event of BKFC 8 in Tampa, Fla., on Oct. 19.

If everything goes his way, “Bigfoot” returns on Nov. 30 in a kickboxing bout opposite Gregory Tony.

That isn’t the only booking on Silva’s mind. With Fedor Emelianenko expected to headline a co-promotion by Bellator and Rizin Fighting Federation on Dec. 29 in Japan, the Brazilian is down to get back in the cage in a rematch against “The Last Emperor.”

“I heard about that a couple of days ago, and immediately texted Patricky (Freire), who is in Japan to fight on the 12th,” Silva told MMA Fighting. “I said, ‘Patricky, you and your brother have a good influence with Bellator. Try to get something done over there, let’s see if there’s a possibility of making this fight.’ Who knows, maybe they are interested. It would be wonderful.”

“Bigfoot” and Emelianenko met under the Strikeforce banner back in 2011. The Russian star, who was coming off a shocking upset loss to Fabricio Werdum, was demolished by Silva’s ground and pound, losing via doctor’s stoppage between the second and third rounds.

Afterward, Silva and Emelianenko’s careers took opposite directions.

After losing to Daniel Cormier and Cain Velasquez, Silva scored a pair of knockout wins over Travis Browne and Alistair Overeem to earn a rematch with Velasquez for the UFC heavyweight championship. But he once again lost by knockout. “Bigfoot” has only won once over his next nine MMA bouts and hasn’t fought since a kickboxing bout in Oct. 2017.

Emelianenko, meanwhile, parted ways with Strikeforce after being finished by Werdum, Silva and Dan Henderson. He went on to winn five in a row in Japan and Russia before signing with Bellator. “The Last Emperor” lost in 74 seconds to Matt Mitrione in his return to the United States, but bounced back with first-round knockouts over Frank Mir and Chael Sonnen before losing to now two-division champion Ryan Bader inside a minute.

“That fight would be wonderful for me,” Silva said. “Fedor is someone I’ve always admired as an athlete since his Pride days, so that would be wonderful. Let’s see what happens. The seed has been planted. If that happens, I’m sure it would be a good fight.”

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