UFC and Pride Vet Wanderlei Silva’s Fight Career Still Up in the Air


Wanderlei Silva at UFC 102

Wanderlei Silva at UFC 102

The future of UFC middleweight Wanderlei Silva is all in the hands of the legendary mixed martial artist.

According to Silva’s manager, Rob Cardenas, the former Pride Fighting Championships 205-pound titleholder will likely make an announcement on the status of his future via his website.

Although Silva was seen in a UFC Fightline video post where it sounded as if he wanted to continue fighting, the final word on his career hasn’t been revealed.

The questions about whether or not Silva would continue fighting stem mainly from UFC president Dana White’s comments after Silva’s last fight, saying that he may have to “Chuck Liddell” the legendary fighter into retirement.

“He will issue a statement in due time,” Cardenas told MMAWeekly.com via email. “He will be the one providing the sort of information you are seeking. Wand will likely issue a statement/video through his site.”

“The Axe Murderer” made his return to the UFC in 2007 after spending several years in Japan fighting for the now-defunct Pride Fighting Championships, where he terrorized the 205-pound division as champion for six years. In addition to fighting within his weight class, Silva fought heavyweights from time to time, which helped fuel his ever-growing popularity in the sport of mixed martial arts.

Shortly after Pride was purchased by Zuffa, the parent company of the UFC, Silva signed with the Las Vegas-based promotion.  The acquisition was filmed and posted on the UFC’s website for fans to witness the signing, as well as Dana White’s enthusiasm towards securing one of the sport’s most popular personalities.

In his debut, Silva met Chuck Liddell at UFC 79: Nemesis and dropped a unanimous decision to the former UFC light heavyweight champion.  The loss was his third straight.

After a rejuvenating knockout win over Keith Jardine at UFC 84: Ill Will, Silva lost two more bouts, this time to former Pride rival Quinton “Rampage” Jackson by knockout then Rich Franklin at a catchweight of 195 pounds by unanimous decision.

Following the consecutive losses at a heavier weight, Silva decided to drop to the UFC’s middleweight division, where he would make his 185-pound debut against Michael Bisping at UFC 110: Nogueira vs. Velasquez.  Silva pulled out a unanimous decision win over the British fighter and some thought that his career might be back on track.

Unfortunately for Silva, injuries stalled his second coming at middleweight, forcing his return to be pushed back to the summer of 2011.  After initially voicing his reluctance to fight Brian Stann at UFC 130: Rampage vs. Hamill, Silva signed on to fight heavy-handed Chris Leben at UFC 132: Cruz vs. Faber.

The Silva-Leben bout was heavily coveted by both fighters.

“(Chris) would like to reiterate his desire to compete against a legend of the sport and personal hero of his in Wanderlei Silva,” Garry Ibarra told MMAWeekly.com, at the time.

Silva caught wind of Ibarra’s words and immediately utilized social media to gain fan support, which led to the fight being signed for July 4th weekend.  In the bout, Leben and Silva fought for an entire 27 seconds before “The Crippler” knocked out the legendary fighter via punches.  The loss was Silva’s third in his last four outings.

It is unknown as to when Silva will make the announcement on his final plans on what to do about his fighting career.  MMMWeekly.com will continue to follow this story and update as more information becomes available.

Got something to say? Weigh in with a thought of your own in the comments section below.

Erik Fontanez is a staff writer for MMAWeekly.com.
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