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By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva is feeling comfortable into his UFC debut on Saturday night at UFC 146. After an upset knockout loss to Daniel Cormier last September in his final Strikeforce bout, Silva is feeling no pressure as the underdog to Cain Velasquez in the night's co-main event.
"I like it when I'm not a favorite," Silva said in an interview with MMAJunkie.com. "I'm so relaxed. Now I'm in the same situation as the Fedor [Emelianenko] fight."
Silva blames the Cormier loss to a lack of motivation after the removal of Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion Alistair Overeem. He says it affected his mindset, and that led to a poor performance.
"I was so sad," he said. "I fought [him] only because of the money... I didn't want to fight, and I lost very fast."
He's hoping to turn things around in this UFC debut, however, and is extremely excited for the chance to fight the former UFC Heavyweight Champion.
"It's a big opportunity for my personal life and for my professional life," he said. "I will win this fight... I never want to lose, but I lost, and ... after Nelson [they gave me] Cain, who's the No. 2 [heavyweight] in the world. It's very good for me."
Penick's Analysis: The motivation factor may have played a part, but Cormier's performance in that fight last September can't just be written off like that. He was superb against Silva, and though he didn't have the name value of Overeem it was still a fight Silva should have taken more seriously. Regardless, Silva does have a big chance to turn things around with this fight against Velasquez, and if he can pull off the upset here it will erase the memory of the Cormier loss, especially since a lot more will see this fight than watched that event in September.
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Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
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