After a summer full of drama surrounding drug tests, hearings, injuries, and one failed rivalry with Chael Sonnen, longtime MMA competitor Wanderlei Silva has retired from fighting in a video where he put the UFC on blast for apparently turning his fans against him:
“I am stepping down from the ring. After today, Wanderlei Silva will not fight again,” he said. “My career is over. Because I don’t have a stage to perform, where the athletes get the proper respect. For these reasons, I have had enough.
They tried to turn my fans against me. My fans, who have followed me for 20 years, before this promotion even existed I was already fighting in Brazil. I have fought bare-knuckle and I helped building this sport. Everything you see today, I helped build with my sweat and blood.”
A dominant champion in Pride, Silva’s last bout ironically took place in at UFC on Fuel TV 8 in March of 2013, when he knocked Brian Stann out in a classic slugfest. He was supposed to finally put his heated rivalry with Sonnen to bed as the culmination of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF): Brazil 3, but drug testing issues, including Silva’s skipping out on a test and multiple failures by Sonnen, put an end to the bout and ultimately, both fighters’ careers.
It’s quite the sad way to go out for the once-respected “Axe Murderer,” who was nearly invincible in his bulldozing days at the Saitama Super Arena. Here is his full retirement video below: