Following his victory over former UFC Heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski at Strikeforce: Heavy Artillery back in May, Antonio Silva found his MMA stock at an all-time high. The American Top Team product now finds his name attached to a couple of intriguing matchups, as MMAJunkie reports:
Silva's name is currently linked with potential fights against Strikeforce heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem (33-11 MMA, 3-0 SF) and Russian legend Fedor Emelianenko (32-2 MMA, 1-1 SF).
"Both Overeem and Fedor are great fighters," Silva said. "I would be more than happy to fight either one. I have a lot of respect for each of them."
The 30-year-old "Bigfoot" says he's under the assumption he'll be facing the Dutch champion next, but he's more than happy to face whoever will stand across the cage from him.
"Strikeforce hasn't yet given us a definite opponent, but it seemed likely that it was going to be Overeem, and I've been kind of planning accordingly," Silva told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) through his manager and interpreter, Alex Davis. "I believe (Strikeforce CEO) Scott Coker has said to a few people that I'm likely to fight Overeem next, and I would be truly honored to fight him for the Strikeforce title."
Indeed, Coker has referenced a potential Overeem vs. Silva bout to a variety of media outlets.
But on Friday, sources close to the promotion informed MMAjunkie.com that an Emelianenko vs. Silva bout is also being discussed as a possibility - though it's anything but a done deal.
Silva said while he hasn't been approached about a fight with Emelianenko, he would have no objections to facing "The Last Emperor."
With news that Fedor's team is also considering the matchup, it seems Strikeforce champion Alistair Overeem will not have another MMA match this year. Overeem has expressed a desire to fight either Emelianenko or the Russian's conqueror, Fabricio Werdum; if neither fight materializes, he plans to take part in this years K-1 World Grand Prix Finals. While Werdum recovers from elbow surgery, it's likely Strikeforce's heavyweight title will be on the shelf until 2011.