“The Axe Murderer” is finally coming back to the cage.
Pride FC legend Wanderlei Silva has been out of action for over a year courtesy a knee injury which required surgery and extensive rehabilitation, but he returns to make his second appearance at 185lbs. this July 2nd against fellow hard-nosed brawler Chris “The Crippler” Leben at UFC 132 and the 34-year-old veteran is motivated to bring his A game.
“I want to show the best Wanderlei Silva for my fans around the world in this fight,” he said during the UFC 132 conference call.
In his UFC debut, Silva defeated Michael Bisping via unanimous decision and would like to continue stacking up victories on his way to a shot at the belt, but his focus is currently on the man currently standing in front of him.
“I’m thinking, of course, I want to fight for the belt,” said Silva. “One day, I want my belt back. But I can’t talk about that right now. I’ve been out for one year. I’m going to get back with this great fighter now.”
In addition to wanting to show fans “the best Wanderlei Silva,” “The Axe Murderer” is also motivated by his desire to pick up a bonus check for Fight of the Night.
“I’m thinking it’s a really important fight for me,” Silva said. “A lot of guys ask me. I talk to the boss and say, ‘I want a fight with Chris Leben.’ The guy asks me why. I say because I watched him against Akiyama and he did very well. We can make maybe the best fights of the year. I don’t love him, but I love money. I want the check of the best Fight of the Night, and maybe the best fight of the year.”
UFC 132: Cruz vs. Faber 2 goes down this July 2nd at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.