Antonio Silva Faces Biggest Career Challenge In Arlovski

Over his five-year career, Antonio “Big Foot” Silva has become one of the most dangerous heavyweights not in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Since beginning his career in 2005 with a technical knockout victory, Silva has pushed his professional mixed martial arts record to 13-2 with only one of his victories going to the judges’ scorecards. The giant Brazilian has stopped nine of his fights via knockout and two by submission.

The pinnacle of his career came when he joined the now-defunct promotion EliteXC, working his way towards a championship match for to determine the first-ever heavyweight champion of the promotion. After gaining victories over Wesley Correira, Jonathan Wiezorek, and Ricco Rodriguez, Silva was matched up against Justin Eilers for the vacant heavyweight title. The bout lasted a mere 19 seconds after Silva smashed through his opponent with knees and punches en route to a technical knockout victory that earned him the title.

However, the victory was not without a great deal of controversy; controversy not inside the cage, but rather outside of it. Following the biggest victory of his career, Silva tested positive for the banned substance Boldenone, which is an anabolic steroid. While Silva denied the positive test, stating that his victory was not gained through illegal usage of any banned substances, the damage had been done.

Now, less than two years after the positive test, Silva still works to put the past behind him through success in the sport. He followed up the unfortunate outcome with consecutive stoppage victories in Sengoku and headed back to the States for some redemption on American soil in November of 2009 against Fabricio Werdum at “Strikeforce” Fedor vs. Rogers”.
The fight, which was featured on the televised card of the evening on CBS, saw Silva take the initiative early en route to a very successful first round. However, Werdum came back in the second and third round, earning a unanimous decision from the judges. The loss left Silva with a broken hand and only a small amount of redemption he had wished to earn. Yet just six months later, the Brazilian has another shot at what he so adamantly seeks.

On May 15, Silva will face off against former UFC heavyweight champion and devastating striker Andrei “The Pitbull” Arlovski. Each fighter is coming off a disappointing loss in his last outing and is looking to right the ship with a dominant performance this weekend. Arlovski brings his fast, powerful striking to the table in this bout, looking to hand Silva his third professional loss.

However, Silva brings devastating ability of his own to the fight. Training out of the highly-touted American Top Team, “Big Foot” has featured improved striking throughout recent fights, along with his ever-improving jiu-jitsu game. Each facet has gained Silva stoppage victories in almost all of his fights and could certainly prove devastating to the weakened chin of Arlovski.

The heavyweight match up, which is set for the main card of “Strikeforce: Heavy Artillery” is a shot at redemption for two fighters who have dealt with problems in recent years. Arlovski is looking to redeem himself due to his recent losses, while Silva is looking to put the past even further behind him.

With a dominant performance against Arlovski, “Big Foot” will certainly take a large stride away from his steroid controversy of 2008, along with a long stride towards the heavyweight title of the Strikeforce promotion. His talent and desire play heavily to his favor and, come May 15, spectators and fans could very well be introduced to a dangerous fighter looking to wreak havoc in the Strikeforce heavyweight division.