Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva is in an interesting position following his UFC 156 victory over Alistair Overeem.
Bigfoot effectively ruined Overeem's shot at the UFC heavyweight title. Instead, the Brazilian is now launched into the title picture.
A ferocious knockout will do that for you.
While Bigfoot's options are a bit unclear right now, let us assume—just for now—that he is granted a shot at Cain Velasquez's heavyweight strap.
A rematch of the one-sided beatdown at UFC 146 is not particularly appealing to me, but there is still some upside to the matchup. Let's break it down.
This section could be labeled "pro," since I see only one benefit to a Silva vs. Velasquez rematch.
It keeps the heavyweight title picture moving.
If the UFC elects not to pit Bigfoot against the champion a second time, Velasquez will be shelved for an extended period. Almost every top heavyweight is booked for a non-title fight, while former champion Junior dos Santos—the other feasible option—will likely face Overeem next.
In this case, Velasquez will face a lengthy layoff, and that is ultimately bad for the division and bad for business.
If for no other reason than to keep the champion active, a Bigfoot vs. Velasquez rematch makes sense.
The downside to this matchup is much more extensive.
It's not an appealing rematch at all. Velasquez absolutely wrecked Bigfoot at UFC 146. Even with their team of advertising studs, the UFC will have a tough time selling fans on Bigfoot as a legitimate threat to Velasquez's crown.
Furthermore, is Bigfoot really the big-name guy we want to see fight for the heavyweight championship?
He definitely vaulted his stock upward with his knockout at UFC 156. However, Overeem looked pretty awful, and has always had a suspect chin.
This is not to belittle Bigfoot's win—my heart nearly exploded as it happened—but, in reality, Overeem did not look the part of a heavyweight contender in that bout.
Before the Overeem fight, Silva defeated a one-legged Travis Browne after losing to Daniel Cormier and Cain Velasquez in devastating fashion.
While I do think Bigfoot can potentially perform more capably against Velasquez in a rematch, the fact remains that he has faltered against top competition in the past. He is not exactly the unstoppable force fans want to see fight for the division's most prestigious title.
Right now, he is just not the right guy for the job, but he may be forced into the position by default.
Whenever a title shot is chosen "by default," that's bad news. For that reason, Bigfoot vs. Velasquez II is a fight I just cannot get behind at the moment.
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