One MMA legend found redemption at UFC 132, one faces the end of his career in the aftermath.
Former UFC light heavyweight champ Tito Ortiz defeated Ryan Bader in impressive fashion to reclaim relevancy and keep his job, but the former terror of Pride, Wanderlei Silva, was knocked out unceremoniously within thirty seconds of the first round of his bout against Chris Leben.
As we reported yesterday, the loss marks Silva’s sixth in his last eight fights and, at the post-fight presser (which Silva did not attend), UFC president Dana White asserted that it may be time for “The Axe Murderer” to hang up his gloves.
“People love him so much because of the way he fights and his style and the type of person he is,” White said. “But yeah, probably the end of the road for Wanderlei.”
In the fight, Silva came out of the gates on a mission, wading right into the pocket with Leben and winging hooks; one clipped “The Crippler,” which was enough to send him into gutter fight mode. He fired right back at Silva and put him on queer street with a hard left hook. Silva grabbed the clinch quickly, but Leben had done his homework and fired a series of uppercuts up the middle that put the revered veteran facedown on the mat. The follow up ground and pound strikes were solely academic, Silva was long gone.
“People knew that he and Leben were going to come out and they were going to throw until somebody fell down, and it was Wanderlei tonight,” said White.
White was convinced by the loss that Silva should likely be persuaded to walk away from the sport, much like his old time rival Chuck Liddell.
“I think it’s one of those ones where I’m going to have to sit down and talk to him, kind of Chuck Liddell him into it,” White said. “The guy has nothing left to prove. He’s a warrior. People love him all over the world. I just don’t want to see… that happen to him anymore.”