Count Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva among the proponents for Strikeforce's rumored 2011 heavyweight tournament.
Believing the organization boasts some of the world's top heavyweights, Silva told MMAjunkie.com he'd love to participate in the potential multi-event tourney.
And he hopes it could lead to a fight with Fedor Emelianenko, a fighter he calls a "living legend."
"I'm happy to hear these rumors," Silva told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) through a translator. "After all, who wouldn't want to fight Fedor, a living legend in the sport?"
Silva (15-2 MMA, 2-1 SF) vs. Emelianenko (31-2 MMA, 1-1 SF) had been rumored for a few events over the past couple months, and then it appeared the fight would take place at the organization's "Strikeforce: Diaz vs. Cyborg" event on Jan. 29. But with Strikeforce and Emelianenko still negotiating a new contract, the bout never materialized, and the famed Russian is expected to return to the cage no sooner than February.
Instead of Emelianenko, Silva was slated to fight promotional newcomer Valentijn Overeem at the Dec. 4 "Strikeforce: Henderson vs. Babalu II" show. But a late injury opened the door for light heavyweight Mike Kyle, who moved up a weight class and nearly stopped Silva with a dominant first round. "Bigfoot," though, survived and ultimately scored a second-round TKO.
"As well as being a great person, he showed that he was a very tough opponent in the 205-pound category," Silva said. "It was the first time (I had been hurt like that), but a fighter has to fight through the good and bad."
But with that chapter of his career closed, he still wants the Emelianenko fight. Current heavyweight champ Alistair Overeem had been earmarked for a fight with Fabricio Werdum, who upset Emelianenko with a triangle choke earlier this year. It's unclear how the two fighters would factor into a possible tournament, but Silva already has learned lessons from Werdum.
"He already showed the hole in [Emelianenko's] game, but until you get to the ground, it's a long [fight] since it starts standing up," he said. "I'm going to train my hands, my wrestling and my jiu jitsu for him."
For the latest on Strikeforce's upcoming schedule, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.
by Steven Marrocco and Dann Stupp