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Silva set for UFC rematch with Velasquez

By Carlos Arias

The Orange County Register

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 02:00 p.m. HST, May 24, 2013



Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva slugged his way back into the UFC heavyweight title picture and a rematch with Cain Velasquez with impressive knockout victories over Alistair Overeem and Travis Browne.

Velasquez scored a dominating first-round TKO over Silva at UFC 146 in 2012 and went on to recapture the UFC heavyweight title with a unanimous decision over Junior dos Santos in December, but Silva's most recent victories were so decisive they earned him a rematch against Velasquez at UFC 160 on Saturday in Las Vegas on pay-per-view.

"This is a whole new fight," Velasquez said. "Obviously we saw what Bigfoot can do in his past two fights. You can't take him lightly, he is a tough competitor. He has really dangerous cuts in the octagon. So I don't see this as anything less than a hard, grueling fight and that's what I'm expecting."

Silva appears to be quite confident heading into the rematch.

"I'm sure that the first punch that I really land, he's going to go down," Silva said. "I have a lot of respect for Cain Velasquez, I think he's an incredible fighter, and I respect him as a person. But I'm very confident in myself and I feel very good going into this fight."

The co-main event for UFC 160 pits dos Santos, the former UFC heavyweight champion, against former K-1 champion Mark Hunt, who has seen a resurgence in his career with four consecutive victories in the UFC. The dos Santos-Hunt winner could be in line for a shot at the Velasquez-Silva winner.

"If I can beat Junior it should put me into the No. 1 spot," Hunt said. "I don't see a reason why it wouldn't."

NOTES

Interim UFC bantamweight champion Renan Baro was forced to pull out of his fight against Eddie Wineland in the main event of UFC 161 on June 15 in Winnipeg, Canada, because of a foot injury, the UFC confirmed Tuesday. Former Strikeforce and Pride champion Dan Henderson's bout against former UFC light-heavyweight champion Rashad Evans has been elevated to the main event at UFC 161, the UFC announced. ...

A short-notice heavyweight bout between Roy Nelson and Stipe Miocic was announced by UFC officials to bolster the UFC 161 main card. ...

Matt Serra, 38, might not want to say he's retired, but it appears the former UFC welterweight champion has fought for the last time in the octagon.

"It's hard to say it," Serra told Newsday of retirement. "It's like you can't say it, even though it probably is true. I would love to put closure on my career with one last fight at the (Madison Square) Garden, but at the same time, if that doesn't happen, I definitely consider myself done. It's hard to say the 'R word.' I might never say the 'R word.'

"I really think I'm walking away. I'm going to be 39. I just had my rib taken out. I'm having my third kid. My schools are doing well. What am I doing, looking for another pay day? It's not really for that. I mean, it doesn't stink, but it's not really for that. Am I still trying to hold on for the glory? Glory is a drug, dude. I'm telling you, that's the problem. It really is. I know why guys can't walk away. I absolutely get it." ...

Former Strikeforce light-heavyweight champion Gegard Mousasi, who is currently rehabbing his injured knee, could end up campaigning at 185 pounds when he returns to the octagon.

"There's a big chance that I will go to middleweight," Mousasi told MMAFighting.com. "It all depends on the fights that I'm going to get. If I'm going to get a big name at middleweight, I'll probably go down.

"It's all about matchups. Let's say they're going to give me somebody like Vitor Belfort that's maybe a contender. That's the kind of fight I want." ...

Former UFC heavyweight champion Josh Barnett is close to signing a multi-fight deal with the UFC, according to a report by Sherdog.com. Barnett, who is known for his catch-wrestling and owns 20 victories via submission in his 32 careers wins, most recently competed in Strikeforce, where he defeated Nandor Guelmino on Jan. 12. ...

Bellator welterweight champion Ben Askren returns to action with a title defense against undefeated Russian Andrey Koreshkov at UFC 97 on July 31 in Albuquerque, N.M., on Spike TV, Bellator MMA announced.

"I'm really looking forward to getting back into that cage and putting on a show," Askren said. "I feel like I've continued to mature and get better in every one of my fights, and July 31st should be no different. I don't think Andrey has any ability to stop my wrestling and ground attack, so this will be another successful title defense." ...

A heavyweight bout between Overeem and Browne has been confirmed for UFC on Fox Sports 1 on Aug. 17 in Boston, according to a report by MMAJunkie.com. ...

The UFC is teaming with EA Sports to create a video game, and EA Sports announced Tuesday it would release the first generation of the video game in the next 12 months.






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