Antonio ‘Bigfoot’ Silva has officially signed with BRAVE Combat Federation.
The one-time UFC heavyweight title challenger will make his return to the cage on March 9th. Silva announced the signing on Instagram, confirming that he would face Israeli legend Haim Gozali in a grappling match for his promotional debut.
“Hi everyone, now it’s official,” Silva said. “I signed the contract to fight on March 9th in the Brave organization against Haim Gozali. I’m so excited for that, and I’ll see you soon Haim.”
BRAVE CF, a Manama-based MMA promotion, is the biggest mixed martial arts organization in the Middle East. Owned by Bahraini prince Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa, BRAVE CF has held events in the Middle East, Europe, South America, and Asia since 2016. Undefeated UFC prospect Muhammad Mokaev competed under the BRAVE CF banner before signing with the Las Vegas-based promotion in 2021.
Antônio Silva, a former UFC heavyweight title challenger, will aim to secure his first mixed martial arts victory in seven years
When Silva steps into the cage on March 9th, he’ll be looking for his first win since 2015. His last victory came against Soa Palelei at UFC 190. Since then, ‘Bigfoot’ has dropped seven-straight bouts in MMA and nine altogether when you include his brief work as a boxer and bare-knuckle fighter. Of those nine losses, eight have come by way of knockout or TKO. Over the summer, Silva was KO’d by Oleg Popov in an MMA bout. Three weeks later, he made his professional boxing debut and suffered yet another knockout at the hands of Viacheslav Datsik. Both fights were held in Moscow.
Now 43 years old, many have called for promotions to stop signing Silva. While he is still a well-respected name in the world of combat sports, the frequency at which he is violently slept inside the cage has many fans worrying about the long-term effects he could face.
Unlike his previous bouts, Silva will compete against Haim Gozali in a grappling match where striking is not permitted.