It may sound like sour grapes to some people, but I wouldn’t know because Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva (pictured) made his statements in Portuguese and something could have been lost in the translation.
Essentially, Silva believes Saturday’s fight against UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez was stopped prematurely and that several of the punches that helped end their shootout were placed illegally to the back of his head.
“I do agree the fight was stopped too early,” Silva said through a translator at the UFC 160 post-fight press conference. “I don’t want to say too much, I’d rather you each just watch the fight’s playback. It’s clear watching it that I took several illegal blows to the back of my neck.
“The referee explained to me that the first illegal blow should be a warning that should be issued. The second should be penalized on points. In seeing the playback, you can see that I took several illegal blows to the back of my neck.”
As far as UFC president Dana White was concerned, he didn’t take a definitive stand on either side of the sand. However, he’s seen plenty of worse refereeing performances than what Mario Yamasaki displayed in Saturday’s main event.
“I’ve seen worse stoppages,” White stated. “The problem is when Bigfoot went down – when he got rocked with that big shot – he covers up. And if you’re not intelligently defending yourself, the ref is going to jump in and stop the fight.”
While Silva isn’t pleased with the outcome of the title bout, the former Strikeforce star didn’t want to take anything away from Velasquez’s spectacular performance. Silva simply felt the reffing could have been better.
The defeat marked the second time in 364 days that Silva was TKO’d by Velasquez. The only difference was that on this occasion, a shiny gold belt that probably wouldn’t fit around Bigfoot’s enormous waist was on the line.