Velasquez vs. Bigfoot 2: Weaknesses Cain Velasquez Can Exploit
A fighter the caliber of Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva consistently makes his opponents work tirelessly to exploit his few weaknesses.
But in his first meeting with Bigfoot, UFC heavyweight champ Cain Velasquez nullified Silva's 4.5-inch reach advantage by grounding him seconds into the bout and never letting him scramble back to his feet.
Velasquez mauled Bigfoot en route to a TKO win at 3:36 of the first round at UFC 146.
One day short of a year later, Velasquez will step in the Octagon tonight at UFC 160 with intentions of once again dismantling Silva with relative ease.
Here are three weaknesses Velasquez must take advantage of against Bigfoot.
Silva's Inability to Finish off His Back
If Antonio Silva intends to walk away with the UFC heavyweight title tonight, the 33-year-old Brazilian must come equipped with a more effective remedy to hinder Velasquez's ground-and-pound.
In their first meeting, Velasquez, who's never been submitted, scored a takedown in the bout's opening seconds and then almost immediately went to work on Silva's face.
Bigfoot opened and closed his guard, moved his hips back and forth, and tried to scramble to his feet several times, only to get controlled and brutalized by a superior wrestler in Velasquez.
Silva has 18 career wins, but has just three career submissions and none off his back.
Sporting a 63 percent takedown defense percentage just won't cut it for Bigfoot against two-time NCAA Division I All-American wrestler Velasquez.
Velasquez proved against Bigfoot in their first fight that anyone who steps in with him must tailor their game to avoid his relentless wrestling pressure.
In his last fight, Velasquez attempted 33 shots on former champ Junior dos Santos at UFC 155. Even though the former Arizona State University standout only landed 11 takedowns, his wrestling and ground-and-pound kept Cigano from storming back to his feet to launch venomous strikes.
Just as many consider Velasquez the fastest fighter in the heavyweight division, plenty of pundits look at Bigfoot as one the slowest fighters in the UFC.
Silva definitely didn't use speed or quickness to KO the likes of Fedor Emelianenko, Travis Browne or Alistair Overeem.
But what Silva lacks in speed he typically makes up for with superior strength, size and technique. But against a fighter as swift as Velasquez, Silva must use intelligence and footwork to stay at a safe range to strike with the champ.
Although Silva's hands resemble the ends of a few massive sledgehammers, Bigfoot can't hurt what he can't hit.