After dropping five of his last six fights, Wanderlei Silva found himself victorious once again in his first bout in the UFC’s middleweight division. The former PRIDE champion took home a unanimous decision over Michael Bisping, his first victory in almost two years.
“This is for everyone who in their life has bad moments,” Silva said of his victory after the bout. “Everybody has bad moments in life but you should believe in God and working hard.”
The bout was Silva’s first since he went under the knife for a series of procedures. The first of two major procedures had doctors shaving down the bone surrounding his eyes to help prevent cutting. He also had his nose straightened to aid his breathing, which he acknowledged after the fight.
“I can breathe now!” an elated Silva exclaimed to the Australian crowd.
With a victory over Bisping now under his belt, Silva may face Japanese middleweight Yoshihiro Akiyama next in the UFC’s inaugural event in Japan, due to both fighters’ popularity in the Orient.
The UFC has tried for years to get back into Japan since the fall of PrideFC, but has had a tough go of it. With the help of the new Flash Entertainment agreement, the UFC hopes they can finally grow their promotion in Japan.
With Akiyama’s superstar status combined with Silva’s long history of fighting in Japan, the UFC could bank on having a successful return to the Land of the Rising Sun.