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 >>

Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Wanderlei Silva Retracts UFC Fight-Fixing Statements, Reportedly Released from Contract

  • 29 days ago
  • 3 views

While Wanderlei Silva awaits resolution over his lifetime ban handed down by the Nevada Athletic Commission, it appears that he is close to being free of the UFC. read news >>

Wanderlei Silva Free of UFC, but Battle with NSAC Still Looms Large

  • 29 days ago
  • 11 views

The late-career tale of Wanderlei Silva took another interesting twist on Thursday. To recap: Silva was dinged by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for running from a drug test in 2014. He was the read news >>

Video: Charles Rosa questions legitimacy of Augusto Mendes' UFC withdrawal

  • 28 days ago
  • 3 views

BOSTON – Charles Rosa just wants to fight, and at this point, he can’t afford to worry too much about who’s going to be standing on the other side of the cage.Filed under: Featured Videos, News, UFC, read news >>

UFC Fight Night 81 results: Rob Font drops Joey Gomez for second-round TKO

  • 26 days ago
  • 5 views

BOSTON – It was the left hook of Rob Font that put Joey Gomez in trouble and a series of punishing right uppercuts that put him away.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

UFC Fight Night 81 Results: 5 Burning Questions Heading into UFC on Fox 18

  • 25 days ago
  • 1 views

UFC Fight Night 81 is in the books. The results are as follows (c/o Bleacher Report play-by-play man Craig Amos): Main Card on Fox Sports 1 Dominick Cruz def. T.J. Dillashaw, split-decision (48-47, 4 read news >>

UFC Fight Night 81 Results: 5 Burning Questions Heading into UFC on Fox 18

  • 25 days ago
  • 2 views

UFC Fight Night 81 is in the books. The results are as follows (c/o Bleacher Report play-by-play man Craig Amos): Main Card on Fox Sports 1 Dominick Cruz def. T.J. Dillashaw, split-decision (48-47, 4 read news >>

Ex-champ B.J. Penn ends retirement, but UFC boss still unsure on details

  • 24 days ago
  • 21 views

As expected former two-division champ and 2015 UFC Hall of Fame inductee B.J. Penn has ended his retirement. What’s next, though? That’s still to be determined.Filed under: News, UFC read news >>

BJ Penn Officially Ends UFC Retirement: Latest Details, Comments and Reaction

  • 24 days ago
  • 24 views

UFC Hall of Famer and former two-division champion BJ Penn officially announced his return to the Octagon on Tuesday. Per an interview on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani (via MMAFighting's Shaun Al-S read news >>

Brad Imes on retirement: They told me I was going to die or become a vegetable

  • 23 days ago
  • 9 views

Former college football player and “The Ultimate Fighter 2” runner-up Brad Imes found some success and plenty of fun in MMA. But following his retirement, he faced some dark days.Filed under: News, U read news >>

Ilima-Lei MacFarlane on life after KOing the soccer mom

  • 23 days ago
  • 19 views

Bellator women’s flyweight Ilima-Lei MacFarlane knew she would be answering questions about her first professional MMA bout for a while.Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>