Suspended EliteXC heavyweight champion Antonio “Pezao” Silva recently spoke to us in an exclusive interview at Planet Tatami. For the first-time ever, we have translated the interview from Portuguese to English for exclusive publication here on

In this interview, which is translated by Planet Tatami’s André Filipe Cassimiro de Sousa, Silva discusses his recent suspension by the California State Athletic Commission for alleged steroid use, the decision by long-time American Top Team trainer Benkei to leave the fight camp, his thoughts on his most recent win over Justin Eilers, and more.

Planet Tatami: has stated that you tested positive for steroids, do you have anything to declare about it? Will you try to appeal this situation? Please comment, if you can.

Antonio Silva: Yeah, that’s true. I was really surprised with this shocking news. But (those) who know me and stayed with me in these last three years know that I don’t use any kind of steroid and I’m totally against the use of them. A lot of fighters that use steroids are truly beasts inside of the ring but without it they became little kitties. I love fighting but at first place is my life and after my surgery I realized I couldn’t take anything like that. For now I’ll re-take all the exams that I need and surely it’s going to be a matter of time to show the fans and MMA supporters that it was just a misunderstanding.

Planet Tatami: How many fights do you still have in your contract with Elite?

Antonio Silva: I still have three fights under my contract with EliteXC.

Planet Tatami: Give your comments about the fight against Justin Eilers. How do you feel being the champion of EliteXC?

Antonio Silva: The fight went as me and my team had planned. I (put my all into my training) and did what my trainers asked me to do. I’m feeling very happy (and) feeling like my mission was acomplished.

Planet Tatami: In your opinion, who will be the winner between Frank Mir and Minotauro (Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira)? And what about Andrei Arlovski vs. Josh Barnett?

Antonio Silva: In my opinion Minotauro will be the winner. At this current point in time there is no fighter at the same level of Minotauro. And regarding Andrei vs. Barnett, it’s going to be a though fight for both fighters because they are world class athletes, but I’ll support Andrei.

Planet Tatami: When is your next fight for Elite? Is there any possibility for you to fight outside Elite?

Antonio Silva: It was scheduled to September 20th but the event was cancelled. Yes, I’m free to fight outside EliteXC; my contract gives me this right.

Planet Tatami: What was your reaction when Benkei left ATT?

Antonio Silva: Well, I’m sad because Benkei is an awesome physical trainer and he was like a father for all athletes but I have to respect the opinion of ATT headmasters. I’m quite sure we lost a great professional who would kill or die if it was necessary just to see an ATT fighter win. He carried the flag and logo of the gym with (great passion).

Planet Tatami:
What would you like to say to your fans reading this?

Antonio Silva: Thanks for the opportunity and I ask all Brazilians to trust me, because I don’t need to use any prohibited substance in my body. Naturally I produce what I need. I’m a real champion (and) the belt is mine and it will be for a long time. If somebody wanna take it from me, he won’t do it by cheating me, making me look bad but he will have to put fighters to face me, to take it in the right way.

Brazil has the best MMA fighters around the world and it’s annoying a lot of people, but they will have to see for a long time names like Minotauro, Anderson Silva, Paulão Filho, Jorge Santiago, Pedro Rizzo and me, Antonio Silva. True champions.

Planet Tatami is the exclusive Brazilian MMA correspondent site for and its translated English content appears on this site exclusively with Planet Tatami’s permission. For additional MMA content from Planet Tatami, please visit the site at: