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UFC on FX 5 headliner 'Bigfoot' Silva: Now mentally focused, few can beat me


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ST. ANTHONY, Minn. ? Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva today said that family drives him through rocky times and pushes him toward better ones.


"They've always believed in me, so they're the main reason I feel so mentally strong," Silva told MMAjunkie.com (http://www.mmajunkie.com). "But I also credit that to my coaches and my good friends."


Silva (16-4 MMA, 0-1 UFC) has admitted to lapses in previous fights, but he said he's in the right frame of mind to beat Travis Browne (13-0-1 MMA, 4-0-1 UFC) in the heavyweight headliner of UFC on FX 5, which takes place Friday at Target Center in Minneapolis.


The event's main card airs live on FX while FUEL TV and Facebook carry the prelims.


Silva found solace with his loved ones following a TKO loss to ex-champ Cain Velasquez in his octagon debut at UFC 146. More than the gruesome facial cut he sustained in gruesome one-round fight, he said his ego was the thing hurt most from the promotional-debut loss.


Fifteen months before that fight, he had shocked the world by stopping Fedor Emelianenko in the opening round of the Strikeforce heavyweight grand prix. Silva hoped to win the eight-man tournament, but instead, eventual winner Daniel Cormier stopped him in the semifinals. He then had his shoulder surgically repaired and rejoined his old camp, American Top Team. It was a gloomy period for the Brazilian heavyweight.


"I'm coming into this fight with a lot of anger from the last few situations that I've been in," he said. "But I'm very excited and motivated to get my first UFC win."


His fight on Friday pits him against one of the heavyweight division's rising stars. Browne, who previously was set to fight Ben Rothwell at UFC on FOX 4 before Rothwell withdrew due to an injury, has yet to be defeated in the octagon and has suffered only a draw to Cheick Kongo in his second appearance. Since then, he has stopped two of his three opponents while winning bonuses for a knockout of Stefan Struve and submission of Chad Griggs.


"I think Travis Browne is a good fighter, but I don't know if Travis is in the top 10 based off his last three opponents," Silva said. "But other than that, I believe that after this victory, I'll be among the top five or six heavyweights in the UFC."


Before rejoining ATT, Silva stopped training with the upstart Blackzilians in Delray Beach, Fla., because ex-Strikeforce champ Alistair Overeem had taken residence there. He didn't want to train with a man he might soon fight. So you could say he's already been grooming himself for the top.


The 6-foot-4 Silva will face the 6-foot-7 Browne, but he's convinced he's going to chop down his taller opponent.


"I'm not too worried about what he's going to do and how he is because I'm very good right now mentally and physically," Silva said. "I believe that when I'm mentally strong and physically strong, there's not many people in the world that can hold me back."

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