MANILA, Philippines – Brazilian fighter Antonio “Big Foot” Silva said he has made peace with Dutch kickboxer Alistair Overeem after he knocked out the former K1 champion in their heavyweight clash at UFC 156 in Las Vegas.
Overeem, who was favored to win the bout, talked trash to the Brazilian veteran during the lead-up to the event.
But “Big Foot” got his revenge in the octagon, when he knocked out Overeem early in the third round, ruining the Dutchman’s chances of challenging for the UFC heavyweight championship.
“I believed in myself. I worked hard and I shocked the world before (when I beat Fedor Emelianenko), and I shocked the world again,” Silva told MMA Fighting.
Silva had to be pulled off Overeem after the knockout, but the Brazilian said he was in good terms with his foe.
“Yes, after the knockout, he’s my friend now,” he said.
With his victory, Silva burst into the heavyweight title picture and became a potential challenger to reigning champion Cain Velasquez.
Silva had fought Velasquez once before and lost badly, but “Big Foot” welcomes another shot at the Mexican.
“If (UFC president) Dana (White), (UFC matchmaker) Joe Silva want to give me another opportunity to fight Cain, it will be a pleasure,” Silva said in the post-event press conference.
“He’s a great champion and a tough guy... I just want to fight the best guys,” he added.
White would not confirm if Silva had worked his way into a title shot but said it was a possibility.
“I wouldn’t be opposed to giving him a (title) fight,” White said. “He KO’d Overeem and he looked great doing it, so we’ll see what happens.”