“I Have No Idea What Happened” – Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva Responds After Being Removed From Khabib Nurmagomedov’s Eagle FC Main Event

Published 12/17/2021, 3:00 AM EST


Sergei Kharitonov has replaced Antonio Silva, who was supposed to headline the Eagle FC debut event in the U.S. against Tyrone Spong. According to Silva, he was the last one to know about it.

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The former UFC heavyweight contender got to know about the news on his way to the gym. Silva wanted to finish his camp in Germany and had bought plane tickets as well. ‘Bigfoot’ was planning to train with his longtime friend Gleison Tibau before he got the news.

While talking to MMA Fighting, Silva said, “I have no idea what happened. No one from the promotion told me anything as to why I’m out. They simply changed it, put Kharitonov in, and told me nothing.”

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According to Silva, people in the MMA industry told him that Florida State Athletic Commission wouldn’t let him fight in the U.S. However, Silva is not suspended by an athletic commission in the country.

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He said, “A commission can’t stop an athlete from working when he doesn’t have any health problem. I’m ready, I’m training day after day, and saying I pulled out from the fight is a lie. I still don’t know 100 percent why they pulled me from the fight.”

On Kharitonov being his replacement, Silva said, “This promotion is from Russia, it’s Khabib [Nurmagomedov’s] company, and Kharitonov is from [Russia], and they still haven’t told me why the change. I found out about it through the media and I still have no explanation as to why I was replaced.”

Eagle FC’s United States debut

Khabib Nurmagomedov bought Eagle FC, formerly known as Gorilla FC, in 2020. The former UFC lightweight champion bought the promotion for $1 million. Ever since the purchase, Nurmagomedov has been able to grow the promotion consistently. They have signed some of the biggest names in MMA history and soon will make their U.S. debut.

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The promotion will have its first event – Eagle FC 44 on January 28 in Miami, Florida. It is going to be the biggest card for the promotion yet. Tyrone Spong and Sergei Kharitonov will headline the event. Spong is a professional boxer and kickboxer. He is also 2-0 in his MMA career, but his last fight was way back in 2013. On the other hand, Kharitonov is an MMA veteran, having fought in promotions like Bellator and PRIDE.

The event will also see the return of former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans. ‘Suga’ retired from the sport in 2018. Eagle FC has also signed former UFC bantamweight champion Renan Barao. The Brazilian, who was one of the most dominant fighters in the world at one point, will face Horacio Gutierrez at Eagle FC 44 in January.

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The event is on its way to being a banger. What do you think of Antonio Silva being pulled from the card? What do you make of the card so far? Let us know in the comments!

WATCH THIS STORY – Derrick Lewis Grueling Training Routine for His Fight Against Chris Daukaus at UFC Vegas 45

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Arunaditya Aima

498 articles

Arunaditya is a UFC writer at EssentiallySports. Having completed his Post Graduate Diploma in Multimedia Journalism from IIJNM, Arunaditya aspires to be an important voice in the world of MMA and interview the likes of Jon Jones, Conor McGregor, Amanda Nunes, and other such superstars of the sport. He has followed the sport for over a decade and is an ardent fan of Georges St-Pierre, who he believes is the greatest of all time.

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