Before Wanderlei Silva even faces Rich Franklin in the main event of UFC 99 on June 13th, he seems to have another challenge on his mind in his former friend and training partner at Chute Boxe, Anderson Silva.
“I don’t know why he started talking (expletive) about me,” Wanderlei said in an interview with MMAWeekly, responding to Anderson Silva calling his move to middleweight “pretentious” last month. “Before he start, I don’t like to fight (at middleweight), but after he start you couldn’t pay me to stop. I love the challenge. I love the guys talking about me, because it gives me more motivation to train. Now, I want to fight with him. I want to have a chance to fight with him. But first, I need to focus for Rich, and I know I need to beat him and have a good performance to have a chance to fight the champion.”
Wanderlei went on to criticize Anderson for his recent performances against Patrick Cote and Thales Leites, saying “His performance talks about him, no? His last two fights with Cote and with Thales. I don’t know. This is a question, what is better for him? Win or lose? Because this is a new sport. Imagine one guy who never see, and he pay $49 to sit at home and see the fight, what impression is the guy going to have? That it’s fake? It’s possible! They think, yeah, this is fake. It’s like pro wrestling. But you have a lot of guys working hard for this sport. This is no respect for the boss, no respect for the fans. Every fighter needs to know about their responsibility in the ring, not just to win or lose. You have more power, you have more responsibility.”
Wanderlei realizes that a showdown with Anderson Silva is not in the cards anytime soon. While “The Axe Murderer” faces Rich Franklin next month, Anderson Silva has his hands full with Forrest Griffin at UFC 101 in Philadelphia on August 8th. “I’m not going to fight with the champion the first or second time,” he said. “Of course, no. After four or five fights, it’s possible.”
For the full interview at MMAWeekly.com, click here.