Silva's swan song
UFC 99 could spell doom for Wanderlai Silva
Preview by Brady Crytzer
It’s a shocking statistic. Out of his last five professional bouts, four have been devastating losses. While the sporting world pleads the case to former world champion Chuck Liddell to seek retirement as soon as possible, they quietly turn a blind eye as Wanderlai Silva prepares for a main event clash at UFC 99: The Comeback in Cologne, Germany.
Though he is still considered one of the all time best fighters in MMA history, Silva could be one Deutschland loss away from saying “auf wiedersehen” for good.
Silva has lost four of his last five as well. At his best he lost a brutal decision to Liddell at UFC 79. At his worst he was broken, beaten, and knocked unconscious by fighters the likes of Mirko Cro Cop, Dan Henderson and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.
A shoe-in for a spot in the ever growing UFC Hall of Fame, Silva has affectionately become known as “The Axe Murderer” due to his penchant for destroying his opponents with merciless and often bloody rage. But there is another side of Silva that can’t be ignored, a side that few fighters (including nemesis Liddell) rarely display.
Following the weigh-in for UFC 87 in Minneapolis last summer, Silva was met with a swarm of fans begging for autographs and photo-ops.
Two hours later . . . he was still there.
While fans widely support a proper send off for “The Iceman,” there exists a staunch reluctance to let go of the Brazilian Silva just yet. While Chuck Liddell has fought under the UFC banner for the larger portion of his career, Silva remains relatively new to the Octagon and one thing is clear…adoring audiences just haven’t had enough of “The Axe Murderer” yet.
There is however an understandable method behind their madness. Though Silva was horribly KO’ed in his prior two bouts before coming to the UFC and thoroughly beaten in his debut, there was a nostalgic quality to his lone Octagon victory. As “The Axe Murderer” smashed the prone body of Keith Jardine in May of 2008, fighters and fans alike released a collective sigh as if to say “he’s still got it.”
But that all changed in December when Silva was shockingly knocked out by a single left hook courtesy of a rampaging Quinton Jackson.
It was at that moment that something else became shockingly clear. Wanderlai Silva, after a career of delivering some of the best fights in MMA history, and after suffering some of the worst KO’s ever seen, was not even close to ever considering retirement as a viable alternative to fighting.
And here we are, just days from a main event battle with Rich Franklin at UFC 99. Should Silva be victorious, we will undoubtedly celebrate him as we would any living legend, but should he lose, we as fans must act responsibly.
Wanderlai Silva has shown us one thing in his thirteen year career, and that’s that quitting is not an option.
For the sake of his legacy, his health, and his family it needs to be made clear that it may be the only option.