The unfortunate news that MMA legend Wanderlei “The Axe Murderer” Silva will not be competing next weekend at UFC 116 due to several fractured ribs sustained during training broke earlier this week and, although MMA fans everywhere were extremely disappointed to hear of Silva’s removal from the card, there is likely no one more upset about the Brazilian’s forced absence at UFC 116 than “The Axe Murderer” himself. Silva spoke with Fighters Only magazine recently to offer a direct explanation as to why he will not be fighting and to apologize to fans and to his would-be opponent, Yoshihiro Akiyama.
“I am here to talk about my last few days,” Silva said. “I went through a very tense and difficult weekend and had a very hard decision. Two weeks ago I felt pain in my knee while I was training wrestling. I had an MRI of my knee and three doctors told me my knee was torn. I took medicine to help with the pain, and although my knee felt loose, I said “no,” this date is very important to me and I continued training.
“I tried training more upper body and boxing; I kept losing weight and I was gonna fight no matter what. Last Friday, during sparring, I injured my rib. It was very painful and the next day I had an x-ray and an MRI. I discovered I had three broken ribs.
“After years of fighting, my body made me stop this time. I am here to tell you that I cannot fight on this card. I am very sad because I trained for four months. This is a very difficult time for me. Now, I know that I need to have surgery on my knee. I have no option.
“I am going to work hard to return. I know my God is with me and He is going to bless me one more time. I am praying a lot and I know that God is going to bless the surgeon. I am going to be 100% and will fight many more years.”
Silva, one of the kindest fighters in the game (although you would never guess that by watching him fight), expressed his heartbreak at being unable to compete next weekend in a way that makes it impossible to doubt his warrior spirit and competitive drive.
“My fans know that my life was tough since the beginning,” Silva said. “I want to ask for your strength and support one more time. This is a very, very, very hard moment for me. This is my livelihood, my job and I already put in a lot of time and effort into this fight. This was a fight I really, really desired.
“You cannot imagine how much I wanted to fight on this card. It was my birthday, I had friends and family from Brazil and around the world coming to see me and now I cannot fight. I am not the kind of fighter who fights just for the money and I will prove to you now – I could have entered the Octagon, received one punch, and said ‘that’s it, I have broken ribs’. But I fight to give you a big show. When I fight I always give 100% and I fight to show everybody real MMA and to help the sport grow and to excite my fans.”
The former PRIDE Middleweight Grand Prix Champion also issued a direct message to Yoshihiro Akiyama apologizing for being unable to fight him and expressing his desire to hopefully meet him in the cage at another date.
“This is the reason I cannot compete on this card,” he said. “I apologize to my opponent. I have had opponents cancel fights. I hope they find you another opponent. I hope that I can fight with you in the future. You are an amazing fighter.”
Silva also issued an apology to his fans, one that is wholly unnecessary after all of the years and legendary performances that he has given to the sport and to the fans.
“I apologize to all my fans,” said Silva. “I ask for your prayers for a successful surgery and healthy body. I will be back in shape to fight again and to give you more excitement. A big hug for all of you and be with God.”