Antonio Silva believed he could defeat Alistair Overeem even though most others did not.
Silva finished Overeem with a vicious attack, forcing referee Herb Dean to pull him away from the downed fighter.
After listening to Overeem try and get inside his head during press conferences and the weigh-ins, Silva had one agenda for UFC 156: make Overeem respect him.
“He talked a lot of (expletive) about me,” said Silva, on Fuel TV after his third round knockout victory. “In the press conference, I said to him, ‘Hey, I make you respect me.'”
Silva earned his second UFC victory and positioned himself for a potential world title match with Cain Velasquez. He lost to Velasquez early in 2012, suffering a first round TKO defeat.
Despite Overeem having more experience in the striking game, Silva was the one who landed the crushing blows. “Bigfoot” felt he could overwhelm the former Strikeforce heavyweight champion in the latter stages of the bout.
“I waited for the second and third rounds. I know he doesn’t have a lot of cardio or have a good heart,” Silva said. “I know he won the first round. He used the ground-and-pound in the second and I said, ‘Let’s go, push me harder.’ I know he was going to tire in the third round.”
Photo credit: Esther Lin/STRIKEFORCE