Bigfoot awakens to bombard Overeem’s smug mug

This is one reason the Ultimate Fighting Championship remains popular: Not only does someone’s most recent loss not matter when next entering the octagon, but neither do previous rounds.

A guy can appear to be getting handled, sort of going through the motions on his back, and in an instant resemble Bigfoot.

He even can be named Bigfoot.

He even can be named Bigfoot, pretend to need a translator and then speak better English than most stateside.

This stuff doesn’t happen when Floyd Mayweather Jr. handpicks opponents to keep his record perfect.

The only translator we need then is for Roger Mayweather.

I’m guessing seconds into the third round of his heavyweight match at UFC 156 on Saturday night, Alistair Overeem might have wondered if deer-antler spray works as well as some Baltimore Ravens seem to believe.

“I’m going to (bleeping) destroy you!” Overeem told Bigfoot at Thursday’s news conference.

Overeem should have remembered the injection this time.

If this was the clean Overeem, well, it sure was more entertaining watching the one whose testosterone levels were jacked up more than his ego, which is bigger than the Mandalay Bay Events Center where he got beat up.

Or at least it was until Bigfoot got all crazy on his face.

Bigfoot is Antonio Silva, and he produced 25 seconds of ridiculous punches to knock out Overeem and postpone any chance of the Dutchman meeting champion Cain Velasquez this year.

I lost count at eight right hands landed to Overeem’s smug mug. It was as if someone in Bigfoot’s corner told the oversized Brazilian that after sleeping through the previous two rounds, he might want to get involved in the fight.

“We decided it in the cage,” Silva said. “I believed in myself. I believed in my coach.”

I believe he despises Overeem.

But for two rounds, I wasn’t even sure Silva wanted to fight.

Overeem won both by controlling things with leg kicks to the thighs and ribs. He tossed Silva to the ground in the second and continued to land shots to the body. Never could you predict what happened to begin the third round.

Whether those in the corner of Silva were correct or not in telling their fighter Overeem had tired, few could envision the onslaught to come.

Overeem charged to begin the final round. Seconds later, he was against the fence, and Bigfoot was blasting away. Silva tried to break free of referee Herb Dean and go back for more once the fight had been called and Overeem lay crumbled to the ground, but then relented when he likely realized it wouldn’t be fair to hit a defenseless guy with normal testosterone levels on the eve of the Super Bowl.

It was last year when Silva fought Velasquez and emerged a bloody mess, knocked out in 3:36 of the first round. It was domination to the level that, even with his win against Overeem on Saturday, likely won’t earn Bigfoot another shot at the champion.

Not for a while, at least.

It will be interesting to also see what is next for Overeem, who despite serving a nine-month suspension still was in line for the title fight had he beaten Silva. You can argue to the lack of fairness of that decision by the UFC brass, but it doesn’t matter now.

The fighter who claimed his positive test was a result of a doctor mixing anti-inflammatory medication with testosterone – I preferred the Ryan Braun, “chain of command for my sample was broken” excuse better – was overmatched in that quick but electrifying third round.

“After I knocked him out, I was yelling at him, ‘Let’s go! I want more … come fight!’ ” Silva said. “It really bothered me that he hasn’t respected me in interviews leading up to the fight. He talked a lot of trash, and I told him that I’d make him respect me tonight.

“I’m ready for whatever the UFC wants me to do next.”

Neither heavyweight from UFC 156 should get Velasquez, who now seems set for a third fight with Junior dos Santos. They have split fights, and you would think dos Santos would do anything for another shot.

His greatest argument to make it happen will be what went down Saturday, when a guy who cheated and was banned nine months returned and seemed to have everything in control.

Until someone awakened Bigfoot.

Ray Lewis can only hope to hit as hard later today.

Las Vegas Review-Journal sports columnist Ed Graney can be reached at egraney@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4618. He can be heard from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday on “Gridlock,” ESPN 1100 and 98.9 FM. Follow him on Twitter: @edgraney.

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