UFC president Dana White is in Ireland this week for a two-day stay in Dublin prior to this weekend’s UFC event in London, England.
White has been invited to the city’s Trinity College, an old and very respected university, to receive an honorary award for his services to the sport of mixed martial arts. While there, he invited fans to join him in the pub on Monday night. “I’m buying the pints,” he tweeted.
During the chit-chat that ensued, White allegedly told one fan that the UFC is looking at staging a heavyweight double-bill on the UFC 160 card. One fight would feature Antonio Silva rematching Cain Velasquez, the other would have Alistair Overeem against Junior Dos Santos.
Of course, at the end of the day its just a post from a random UFC fan in Dublin so it should maybe be taken with a pinch of salt. On the other hand, if you can’t trust things a drunken Irishman tells you while he is full of Guinness, is this a world you really want to live in?
Bigfoot challenges Velasquez and Dos Santos faces Overeem at UFC 160 in May
The animal will pick up the show number 160 of Ultimate. In the early hours of Wednesday (13) during the UFC Tonight program, Antonio Silva was confirmed as challenger Cain Velasquez for the heavyweight belt in a duel that rolls on 25th May at the MGM Arena in Las Vegas at the end of week that the U.S. population honors its veterans of war. And the UFC 160 will have heavier in action in his co-main event.
Former champion category, Junior dos Santos will make his first fight after losing the belt to Velasquez against Alistair Overeem, knocked out by Silva on Feb. 2 at UFC 156.
Velasquez and Silva are reunited one year after measure forces at UFC 146. At the time, the current champion of the category got the better after a very strong work the ground and pound, forcing the referee, Dan Miragliotta, stop the battle in the first round.
ANTONIO SILVA WANTS A CAIN VELASQUEZ REMATCH – OR WHOEVER THE UFC SAYS IS NEXT
Almost as shocking on Saturday as seeing Alistair Overeem’s head pop back over and over again before crumpling to the canvas was watching Herb Dean bear hug Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva to hold him back after the brutal stoppage.
It had been barely a fight for Silva (18-4 MMA, 2-1 UFC) through the first 10 minutes as Overeem (36-12 MMA, 1-1 UFC) basically had his way with him – not that having his way was necessarily anything spectacular in this particular instance.
But in the third, everything changed. Silva’s energy ran high, and when it was over, his emotions ran high, too.
“My emotions did help me get the KO,” Silva told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com). “Emotions always help. It’s always a good thing. You can’t allow your emotions to take over your body and spoil your strategy and training, but it’s always a good thing to channel emotions toward a positive outcome. What you saw after the KO was simply a pouring out of bottled up feelings. I told him to get up, but in no way would I attack him while he was down.”
Silva said Overeem’s pre-fight trash talk made things tense between the two of them when they didn’t necessarily have to be. Silva was training with the Blackzilians camp when Overeem first arrived there, and as a consequence, Silva left for a combination of American Top Team and Team Nogueira. That happened well before they were scheduled to fight at UFC 156, which took place this past Saturday at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas.
But despite that, Silva said he knew of no rift between the two of them, even though they should have fought in the Strikeforce heavyweight tournament’s semifinals before Overeem pulled out with an injury and subsequently bailed for the UFC.
“Back then, there was zero problem,” Silva said. “We got along great. We always chatted with no problem before. It was only during the run-up to our fight that he started behaving like this. I don’t know what happened. I was somewhat surprised by his recent behavior. We never had any beef before. He changed. I don’t know what happened to him, or if it was the influence of other people, for this to take place.”
Whatever it was, Silva and his massive and heavy hands did the talking on Saturday night.
The pre-fight trash talk is something that Silva tried to steer clear of. The most he said before the fight was that he wanted to make Overeem respect him.
“Many athletes try to create drama, but what fans really appreciate, and what gets us more fans and more work, is how we perform inside the cage during the fight,” he said. “For example, Cain Velasquez is a great athlete who does not speak poorly of anyone. Same thing with Georges St-Pierre and Antonio ‘Minotauro’ (Nogueira). These fighters don’t need to badmouth anyone to be successful.”
Silva’s upset of Overeem may have been enough to get him a rematch with Velasquez, who beat him badly this past May on his way to recapturing the UFC heavyweight title. Overeem was to get the shot, but Silva took care of that issue.
Silva said he’d love another crack at Velasquez now that he’s the champ, but he’ll simply take things as they come.
“I am highly interested in facing Cain Velasquez again,” he said. “He’s a great champion. He’s a great person – very humble. When we first faced off, I didn’t get much of a chance to fight. He had the right strategy. He has a great team guiding him. His strategy worked. My forehead was cut open few seconds into the fight. I was struggling to try to see. I wasn’t having any success. So I was left knowing I could have done better. I have nothing personal against Velasquez.”
And if the company goes in another direction, leaving Silva to build on his current two-fight win streak? That’s OK, too.
“I am a UFC employee, so I don’t choose my opponents,” Silva said. “My job is to train, stay healthy physically and mentally, and show my best in the cage. If I could choose, I would pick Cain. But it’s up to the UFC to pick my opponent. I’ll do whatever my boss decides. And of course, every fighter has to travel a certain gauntlet of opponents and write his own history. That’s how Junior Dos Santos and Cain Velasquez did it.
“So if I must face others, I simply ask that I get to face the best opponents.”