Wanderlei Silva announces retirement from MMA, plans to coach son Thor: “I’ve been through it all”

By Josh Evanoff - August 31, 2022

Former PRIDE middleweight champion Wanderlei Silva has announced his retirement from MMA.

Wanderlei Silva

‘The Axe Murderer’ is one of the most terrifying fighters in the history of the sport. The Brazilian first began his career in 1996. He soon became one of the faces of the International Vale Tudo Championship and captured the light-heavyweight title in 1999.

Within two years of that, he transitioned to PRIDE and became middleweight champion. He would defeat names such as Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson, Dan Henderson, and Kazushi Sakuraba in the promotion.

However, after PRIDE’s closure in 2006, Wanderlei Silva began to show signs of decline. He headed to the UFC and picked up a 4-5 professional record, before departing in 2016. Silva signed to Bellator thereafter and faced Chael Sonnen and Jackson in high-profile grudge matches.

However, the 46-year-old’s contract with Bellator expired in 2019 and signed with BKFC. He’s not discussed a return to the cage much since then, and he’s now decided to officially call it quits. In an interview on the Trocação Franca podcast, Silva retired from MMA.

The Brazilian admitted that if the right matchup comes along in boxing, he might do that. However, as far as his MMA career goes, he’s done. Silva sourced his interest in politics, as well as coaching his son, Thor, as his reasons behind hanging up the gloves.

Wanderlei Silva

“Only those who have sons know how it’s like watching them fight. This feeling is completely different, but it’s very exciting because we know what it’s like and everything that can happen in a fight. I know where he can go, I’ve been through it all, and I know that what really counts is hard work. You may be the son of [someone important] or have as much money as you have, but hard work and training is what counts in there, and thank God he has behaved like a professional already.” (h/t MMAFighting)

Wanderlei Silva continued, “…There are many great promotions today like Bellator, RIZIN, and UFC, great promotions that give opportunity for the athlete to show their work and fight the best. We’ll see how his career progresses and the opportunities that will present themselves, and we’ll choose the best path.”

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