Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva beat Travis Browne and Alistair Overeem back to back in 2012/2013. Next he lost a rematch with Cain Velasquez, and then earned a draw with Mark Hunt in arguably the greatest fight in MMA history.
The majority draw with Mark Hunt was changed to a No Contest after Silva tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone. Bigfoot had received a Therapeutic Use Exemption for Testosterone Replacement Therapy, but through a miscommunication with his MD, let his levels edge too high.
TUEs for TRT have been ended in mixed martial arts, but there are a tiny number of athletes worldwide that legitimately need them. In 2014, Silva’s manager Alex Davis explained that Bigfoot’s case is a medical necessity.
“This is one of the guys that really have authentic technical reasons to be on TRT,” said Davis. “He has acromegaly. His pituitary gland overproduces GH and that unbalances all his other hormones.”
“When I started managing him, he was actually lactating. He has extreme low testosterone. He has extremely low testosterone, so he has a real reason to be on TRT.”
Never the less, TRT ended for all, and Bigfoot has gone just 1-5 since the Hunt fight. All five losses were via KO or TKO, and four were in the first round.
Silva and the UFC have amicably parted ways, and now John Morgan for MMAjunkie reports that Bigfoot has signed to fight in Russia, vs. 4-0 Ivan Shtyrkov, at Titov Boxing Promotion event on November 18 in Yekaterinburg, Russia.
“We are very excited for the new opportunity,” said Silva’s manager, Alex Davis. “‘Bigfoot’ was already in the gym today, preparing for the fight against Shtyrkov.
“Russia has become a big hub of the MMA world, and we are thrilled to be a part of it.”
The fighter too is enthusiastic.
“I’m very excited about the upcoming fight against Shtyrkov,” said Silva. “I have made many fans in Japan, Brazil and the U.S., and I will make amazing fans in Russia. Thank you to all my fans, RCC Boxing Promotions from Russia and to Alex Davis and Narcis Mujkic, who made this fight happen.”
The 225 lb Shtyrkov has an odd record. He won his first fight vs. Ukraine’s Vitaly Oparin in 61 seconds. And he won his second fight vs. Ukraine’s Vitaly Oparin, in 97 seconds. Oparin is 1-12 in MMA. Next Shtyrkov beat Jeff Monson in what Monson, recovering from a bicep tear, thought was an exhibition match for the crowd. And in his latest fight, Shtyrkov beat Georgy Sakaev who is now 1-0.
You don’t have to apply for a TUE in Russia. Bigfoot will in all likelihood have normal levels of testosterone, and when he does, he is a world-class fighter. Silva is an enormous step up from guys who are 1-12, 0-1, or the promotional equivalent of a sucker punch.
Shtyrkov better keep his hands up.