Retirement? There’s Still a Lot of Fight Left in Wanderlei Silva


  • Share on Tumblr
  • submit to reddit

Wanderlei Silva at PrideIt was just a few years ago that Wanderlei Silva was on top of the world.

The Brazilian was wreaking havoc in Japan on an incredible 20-fight win streak while fighting under the Pride banner, and sitting as the best light heavyweight in the sport.

As times change and careers progress, Silva eventually moved back over to the UFC, the promotion he had fought for early in his MMA career, but didn’t find the same type of success.

Call it age, call it competition catching up with him, but through six fights under his new UFC deal Silva was sitting with a 2-4 record and questions of retirement started to swirl.

UFC president Dana White seemed to encourage the idea because of Silva’s long journey in the world of MMA, and some violent encounters with past opponents that either left him or the other guy laying in the center of the Octagon, unconscious.

It just wasn’t in Wanderlei Silva to walk away, however; so he dusted himself off, picked himself up, got back in the gym and earned another shot in the UFC, and it paid off.

Silva put on a Fight of the Night performance with a victory over former Strikeforce middleweight champion Cung Le, and earned a spot coaching the first ever Ultimate Fighter in his native country of Brazil.

While he coached the entire season against Vitor Belfort, an injury forced Belfort out of the fight, so Silva will instead face Rich Franklin on June 23 in Brazil as the headline fight at UFC 147. One win doesn’t erase the past, but Silva knows that one loss will absolutely bring up the questions again.

Is it time to retire? Is it time to walk away?

“I have a lot of pressure in all the fights. Right now, all the fights I need to prove I can still fight. All the time I need to prove, and I’m going to prove it again that I’m still a really good fighter and can put on a really good show,” Silva told MMAWeekly Radio.

Some fighters almost get offended at the notion that anybody should tell them it’s time to hang up the gloves and walk away, others just understand it’s part of the business.

Silva is one of the guys who understands why he gets asked that question, and it’s no different than what other fighters will deal with one day.

“That’s normal. After you’re like 32, 33, 35, 37 years old you’re going to have these questions. When Jon Jones is 35 or 36 years (old), guys are going to talk to him ‘hey what do you think are you still going to fight or not?’ It’s going to happen with everybody,” said Silva.

“It’s normal; we need to prove that we can still fight.”

Silva is addicted to fighting, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. He loves the adrenaline rush that comes along with walking into an arena. He loves staring his opponent down, and when it’s finally time for the bell to sound and start the fight, he loves unleashing the “Axe Murderer” inside the cage.

It’s not easy to want to give that up, so Wanderlei Silva is going to fight awfully hard to prove he still belongs in the UFC and not somewhere sitting on the sidelines.

“I’m going to keep going while my body feels good. I feel good and I love to fight, and when you’ve been inside the cage with like 20,000 people cheering for you, that’s an incredible sensation,” Silva described.

“I don’t know what I’m going to do after I finish because all the time I have these unique moments and I’m so happy for all that’s happened in my life and my career. I just want to compete.”

He will look to do that once again when he faces Rich Franklin in the main event of UFC 147 because fighting and competing are what Wanderlei Silva knows best.

Follow @DamonMartin on Twitter or e-mail Damon Martin.
For more
UFC News and UFC Rumors, follow MMAWeekly.com on Twitter and Facebook.

view original article >>

Related News

  • 9 days ago
  • 26 views

Luke Barnatt sees a fight with Wanderlei Silva as a springboard for his resume and a bit of payback for his friend, former “The Ultimate Fighter 17? coach and now-retired title challenger Chael Sonnen. Filed under: News, UFC more

  • 24 days ago
  • 60 views

Two-division UFC champion BJ Penn spoke with members of the media ahead of the TUF 19 Finale, where he discussed a variety of topics including how he feels at featherweight and whether he may retire following the event on Sunday. more

  • 23 days ago
  • 32 views

Is this the last hurrah for the future hall of famer? Former two-division champion, BJ Penn, will make his long-awaited return to the Octagon when he takes on former lightweight rival and fellow reality show coach Frankie Edgar in the main event of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 19 Finale, which takes place this Sunday night (July 6, 2014) inside Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. And if he loses, expect Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White to "push" for his retire more

  • 21 days ago
  • 53 views

If this was to be the retirement fight for former UFC lightweight and welterweight champion B.J. Penn, this was hardly the best way to go out as Frankie Edgar put on a clinic against Penn in the main event at The Ultimate Fighter 19 Finale in Las Vegas, Nevada on Sunday night. Penn opened the bout literally on the balls of his feet and Edgar began with what he normally does, lots of movement with jabs and other assorted offense. Edgar managed to score a takedown early with Penn using variations more

  • 20 days ago
  • 27 views

If nothing else, UFC legend B.J. Penn took home a nice chunk of change for his Sunday night swan song, as the former lightweight champion earned $150,000 in a losing effort at The Ultimate Fighter 19 Finale, according to figures released to MMAFighting.com by the Nevada Athletic Commission. An extremely emotional Penn announced his retirement from mixed martial arts following the main event bout, which saw the 35-year-old Hawaiian get outclassed by Frankie Edgar en route to an uncomfortable thir more

  • 18 days ago
  • 28 views

UFC Fight Night 50 just got a whole lot more punchy. Heavyweights with proven knockout power will square off at the Sept. 5 card at Foxwoods Casino near Ledyard, Conn., when Matt Mitrione meets Derrick Lewis. FOXSports.com initially reported the bout Wednesday. Mitrione, a 35-year-old former NFL player from Illinois, was scheduled to meet Stefan Struve at UFC 175 last weekend. That matchup was scrapped at the last moment due to Struve's health scare in the locker room at Mandalay Bay. Mitrione w more

  • 16 days ago
  • 62 views

After BJ Penn's final fight was over, after BJ made his retirement official, his brother, Jay Dee Penn, spoke with MMAWeekly.com about his brother's Hall of Fame career and his future. more

  • 14 days ago
  • 56 views

The MMA legend says "everything was cleared" following his appearance before the Nevada State Athletic Commission about an incident in which he fled from a random drug test. Before Chael Sonnen had to pull out of UFC 175, his initial opponent Wanderlei Silva was pulled from the card for fleeing from a NSAC surprise drug test. UFC president Dana White told the media he expected Silva to be "in big trouble" with the commission. Silva has since attended a hearing before the commission and he told B more

  • 9 days ago
  • 67 views

Luke Barnatt, friend of Chael Sonnen, wants to fight against Wanderlei Silva, who doesn't know his challenger but accepts the bout anyway. One of Chael Sonnen's pupils on The Ultimate Fighter season 17, Luke Barnatt, wants to settle matters with one of his coach's enemies, Wanderlei Silva. The Englishman's challenge was already accepted, as "The Axe Murderer" told Combate.com that he is up for the fight, aeven though he doesn't know who his opponent is. He also mentioned that bouts against Vitor more