After menacing PRIDE’s 205lbs ranks for many years, Wanderlei Silva hit a skid that made him look much more human and had many calling for his retirement.
3-6 in his last nine, with four of those losses having come by way of knockout, Silva has had to deal with the MMA world asking him to hang up the gloves continually over the past five years. Whenever The Axe Murderer seems to have his back against the wall though, he manages to pull off big wins to extend his career.
Silva transitioned to the UFC on a loss to Cro Cop and then dropped two more contests consecutively. Just when it looked like we’d be seeing the last of the MMA veteran, he knocked out Keith Jardine in thirty-six seconds. Two more losses followed and then he took a decision over Michael Bisping. A knockout to Chris Leben gave way to a knockout over Cung Le.
Speaking with MMAWeekly Radio just ahead of his rematch with Rich Franklin, Silva discussed retirement, explaining that he still feels he has plenty to offer and doesn’t want to walk away, even if he understands why he has to prove that he can still compete every time he steps in the cage.
I have a lot of pressure in all the fights. Right now, all the fights I need to prove I can still fight. All the time I need to prove, and I’m going to prove it again that I’m still a really good fighter and can put on a really good show.
I’m going to keep going while my body feels good. I feel good and I love to fight, and when you’ve been inside the cage with like 20,000 people cheering for you, that’s an incredible sensation. I don’t know what I’m going to do after I finish because all the time I have these unique moments and I’m so happy for all that’s happened in my life and my career. I just want to compete.
Silva will meet Franklin in the main event of UFC 147 next Saturday from the Mineirinho Stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.