"There are no superheroes in this sport," Silva said through a translator on a Tuesday media call ahead of next week's pay-per-view. "Nobody is invincible. And I’ve been putting in a lot of hard work for the last nine weeks. I have been preparing myself and I’m very confident that I’m going to have my arm raised."
That confidence comes despite already having faced Velasquez once on the UFC's Memorial Day weekend card a year ago. The result of that one at UFC 146 was, well, not good for him.
Velasquez, who was fighting for the first time since losing his title to Junior dos Santos, issued a major beatdown on Silva in the co-main event. Silva was a bloody mess after the first-round TKO loss, and Velasquez was on his way back to a chance to reclaim his title, which he did with ease at UFC 155 this past December against Dos Santos.
But Silva believes that last fight doesn't have much bearing this time around.
"I think the main thing is in our first fight I was nervous and I was anxious," Silva said. "And I have replaced those emotions now. Now I’m calm and I’m driven. I really want this. Comparing my style of fighting to Cain’s style of fighting, I would have to be born again to become faster than Cain Velasquez. I’ve got 30 pounds on him. He’s going to be faster than me. So I need to work with what I have, and what I have is very, very heavy hands.
"So, I’m going to need to keep my hands healthy and heavy to go in there and I’m sure that the first punch that I really land, he’s going to go down."
Silva got his title shot following a vicious third-round knockout of Alistair Overeem at UFC 156 this past February. He was stifled for the first two rounds, but in the third a switch was thrown and he made quick work of the Dutch striking expert.
Between that and an October win over Travis Browne, Silva's stock was up enough for the UFC to throw him into the rematch with Velasquez, despite the result a year ago.
But thinking about where he might be in the division with a loss isn't something he's prepared to do.
"Thank God the heavyweight division is very competitive right now," he said. "I think it’s fantastic. It pretty much means that any fight the UFC makes has the makings to be an awesome fight – in this division, there are really no poor matchups. But I’m very confident that I’m going to win this belt, so I believe that I’m going to be the one defending it."