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Wednesday, 06/27/2012, 06:41 am

Wanderlei Silva: Holding On To His Pride


A few months ago, before Vitor Belfort withdrew from his UFC 147 bout with Wanderlei Silva, BJPENN.com ran a story about why Wanderlei Silva shouldn't be considered an underdog for that fight. As the author of that article, I stand before the MMA community humbled.

Not only did Belfort withdraw, but he was replaced by a different competitor who hadn't fought in 16 months and who wasn't even in peak physical shape as the bout ultimately took place at a catchweight of 190 pounds. That new competitor was former UFC middleweight champion, Rich Franklin.

Franklin came in to the main event on his white horse, saving whatever was left of that event, and despite a second round scare, out-pointed Wanderlei Silva for the better part of five rounds.

Silva had no answers for Franklin's technique and looked stagnant for most of the fight, hardly utilizing any head movement or serious technique and instead relying on short bursts of aggression that left 'The Axe Murderer' gassed and unable to fight back most of the time.

Now, after an uninspiring performance against a fighter that isn't top ten in either weight class in which he competes, what's next for Wanderlei Silva after such an illustrious career? Or better yet, when should he realize when an illustrious career has come to an end?
Upon joining the UFC in 2007, Wanderlei Silva was still a highly touted fighter, and was considered one of the best in the world, despite back-to-back losses in Pride, the latter of which costing him his middleweight belt that he held for six years.

He fought Chuck Liddell at UFC 79 in his UFC debut in what turned into a fantastic fight that is one of the best of all time. Silva went on to lose that fight by decision. Since then, Silva has gone a disappointing 3-4 (4-7 all-time in the UFC) in the next seven fights since the loss to Liddell, and despite a drop to middleweight, has fallen off the map in terms of title contention with big losses to Chris Leben in 27-seconds and most recently to Franklin.

As a huge fan of Wanderlei Silva, I always go into denial mode when talk of his chin or aging legacy come up. These are glaring flaws for a fighter and are perhaps no more apparent in any fighter than Silva, who just can't keep up with the berserker mentality that he still holds on to. 

At this point it's about health. Wanderlei Silva has proven himself and love him or hate him, no fan can deny looking forward to seeing him fight as a brawl is guaranteed, no matter which fighter comes out as the victor. After a while, however, these knockdowns and knockouts add up and that 'magic number' that UFC commentators Joe Rogan and Mike Goldberg speak of, isn't some cautionary tale for would-be brawlers but instead a very real and serious issue that some fighters must come to terms with.

Silva has stated numerous times that, despite his violent fighting style, he never wishes to hurt his opponent in any serious way. Silva now needs to worry less about his opponent and more about himself.

Sure, if he had secured that second round TKO in his fight against Franklin, this article would be written much differently, citing a huge step up for Silva and perhaps just one more title run. But honestly I believe that this article would still call for Wanderlei's retirement. As a 48-fight veteran, Silva has been-there and done-that with everyone in MMA and has had four Fight of the Night performances in his most recent fight streak in the UFC.

Although it pains me to ask Wanderlei to retire, it is much easier to to do than watching him tarnish a legacy by sticking around too long, only leaving the sport when he physically can't fight any longer.

comments

22 Comments to Wanderlei Silva: Holding On To His Pride

  1. Keep Fitch (Forever) says:

    Who cares about this hooligan he has done nothing significant in MMA. I cant understand anything when he talks he sounds like a monkey.

  2. Ayo Kano says:

    this post is such a troll, same as the above monkey, Wanderlei is a true legend of the sport, the game may have evolved by the axe murderer is still the axe murderer!

    • Big TxCowboy says:

      you sir can suck a bag of dicks, while your mom plays with my balls. That has to be the most stupid comment ever.. “the game may have evolved by the axe murderer is still the axe murderer!” dafuq is this?

  3. DAMN! says:

    Rematch with Vitor, then he should hang it up for good

  4. Steve-O says:

    null

  5. DAMN! says:

    Rematch with Vitor, then he should hang it up for good

  6. Steve-O says:

    "he has done nothing significant in MMA"… You are obviously not a real MMA fan or you are completely retarded…. But Im guessing both…  If you were you would know he was one of the worlds greatest fighters. You need to watch some old PRIDE Fighting, not the toned down UFC MMA….

  7. GDot says:

    Good article, but can you format a little more? Its tough on the eyes to read. Thanks.

  8. ballsackface says:

    the person who wrote this is a complete fool
    franklin was training for the fight against Cung Le on july 7th only 2 weeks away.
    He was in shape but was going to be light for a 205 fight
    they met at catch weight because it would have been unfair to franklin to make him drop from 205 to 185 in only a few weeks.

    franklin was in great shape and had to be for the pace they fought at for 5 rounds

    how many fighters have you seen maintain that pace that are out of shape?

    you sir are a complete fkin retard and if vitor had of fought either franklin or wand he would have got his glass jaw smashed to peaces

  9. WrestlingRules says:

    Can somebody that loves Silva tell me. WHY does he want his eyes to look like a chicks cat-eyes???

    • You Cant Be Serious says:

      +1000000

    • WrestlingRules says:

      I’m being serious here. You know instead of having his facial surgeon give him chick cat-eyes, he should have had him give him a nose job. Is it just me being a prick, or does it look like when he breathes out of his nose it probably makes a whistling sound???

  10. James says:

    I think it’s pretty obvious at this point that if Vitor had gone into that match healthy he would have destroyed Wand.

  11. Milton Li says:

    Rich Franklin just outwitted and outlasted the storm that passed by. He just over fought Silva and show him that he still hast hat explosiveness of a champion.

  12. scott says:

    Although i agree silvas best days are behind him and theres probably no title run in his future it iritates me to no end when people say that if a fighter or athlete keep fighting or playing that their “legacy” will be “tarnished”…to me thats complete crap, it dosent matter if he gets beat 4 fights in a row to end his career.. does that change all his accomplishments? absolutely not..does it mean maybe he wasnt the exciting, brawling, dangerous, CHAMPION that he was? no it dosent..it simply means father time caught up and its time to retire…but his legacy isnt tarnished at all, he will always be the axe murderer..

    • WrestlingRules says:

      I agree with you. I have never liked Silva as a fighter. But he definitely is a badass and all fighters are badass. The legacy bullshit is right. If the UFC still puts together fights for him and people still pay to watch and Silva is willing to take these beatings then so be it. He can make some money for his family and future. At least he is fighting anybody and not a scared bitch like Rua that was afraid to fight Glover. Me personally though will not pay to watch Silva or Rua again.

  13. 757 says:

    For those who stayed on topic and talked about WS in terms of fighting …thank you. For those of you (Keep Fitch Forever) who went off topic and said purely stupid, little kid shit about WS and personally attacked him with your bullshit talk, you have proved once again why this website has no credibility anymore. Ignorant assholes have turned this into a toy to talk badly about people while hidden because you have no validation in your life. Keep Fitch forever and his little girlfriends in this article have a great toy here that they use to help their low self esteem sorry asses feel tough…. Go get your lunch money stolen like you used to.

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