Australia’s Soa “The Hulk” Palelei returns to action in the UFC heavyweight division Saturday, August 1, at UFC 190 in Brazil as the only heavyweight on the main card not coming off a loss. As such, his position on the roster is safe, and instead, he’s looking at breaking back into the top fifteen of the division, a spot he found himself in prior to his loss to Jared Rosholt.

The stifling wrestling of a fighter like Rosholt isn’t about to be an issue against Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva, however, who is the man Palelei faces Saturday night.

What does he do to secure the win against Bigfoot?

Make This A Short Night

When Silva is allowed to get back in a fight, it has a tendency to go bad. Just ask Alistair Overeem, who couldn’t put Bigfoot away, and paid for it dearly. Of course, that version of Antonio Silva may just be a thing of the past — but who wants to risk it? While it’s rarely a wise suggestion to say “come out swinging” Palalei should do just that. He’s got a large target in front of him, and Bigfoot has been felled by strikes in three of his last four fights. While Cain Velasquez used his wrestling and ground and pound, Andrei Arlovski and Frank Mir took care of Silva on the feet, and Palelei should be looking to emulate that.

Use The Speed Advantage

It’s almost comical to think of Palelei as “quick” – but just about anyone has a speed advantage over Bigfoot. Silva’s size and strength can create problems for opponents, but Palelei can counter that with movement, which should give him an advantage.

Stay Standing

Silva has a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, and Soa Palelei needs to do everything in his power to ensure this fight stays on the feet. On the back, with the massive heavyweight in top control, is not where Palelei wants to be, and he should be wary even entering Bigfoot’s guard.

The real key for Palelei will be in his hands. If he’s up to the task, he may send Bigfoot Silva packing from the big leagues. If not, the monster heavyweight winds up back in the win column and lives to fight another day.

About The Author

Senior Staff Writer

Covering the sport of MMA from Ontario, Canada, Jay Anderson has been writing for various publications covering sports, technology, and pop culture since 2001. Jay holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Guelph, and a Certificate in Leadership Skills from Humber College under the Ontario Management Development Program. When not slaving at the keyboard, he can be found in the company of his dog, a good book, or getting lost in the woods.