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Friday, August 19, 2011

Swan Songs Part II - Wanderlei Silva

In the early 2000's, anyone who knew anything about Mixed Martial Arts knew that Wanderlei Silva was one of the baddest men to ever walk the Earth. While equipped with a Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, this human wrecking machine was walking through everyone with his wicked aggressive striking attack. From his first round brutal knee-delivered knockout of Todd Medina on August 12th, 2000, Wanderlei did not lose a fight until a split decision loss to Mark Hunt on December 31st, 2004. During that time, he beat the Gracie Killer Kazushi Sakuraba three times, twice by TKO and once by pure KO. Silva also beat Quinton "Rampage" Jackson twice, both by way of vicious knees, and he also won a decision over Dan Henderson. 23 of his 33 wins are by KO/TKO, and two of his 3 submissions are tapouts due to strikes. The man isn't called The Axe Murderer for nothing, he slaughters people. His all-out style has garnered him one of the largest and most loyal fanbases in the sport.
Fast forward to right now, and my all time favorite fighter has dropped 6 of his last 8 fights, 4 of which he was knocked out, and knocked out hard. Wanderlei still comes to scrap, but his chin is betraying him. Aside from his professional MMA record, Wanderlei was always known in Brazil at Chute Box to fight bare knuckled. There are tales of Wanderlei and Maricio Shogun Rua fighting to KO bare knuckle, multiple times. Once, the two fought over a pit bull puppy. Shogun gave Wand a puppy, and later came asking for some money. Wanderlei thought it was a gift, so the two agreed to settle the dispute by fighting. Wanderlei won by knockout, so he didn't have to pay $400 for the pit pup. Silva didn't always win though, and he estimates that he's been knocked unconscious "at least" 20 times. While it's certainly the sign of a warrior, the human body cannot continue with conditions like that. It's been shown by many fighters over the years, that granite chin softens over time, and as knockouts add up, the fighter is more likely to get rocked by shots he used to walk through. The thing about Wanderlei though, every time he comes to the ring, he and all the fans think he has a great shot at demolishing his opponent. When he steps into the ring, rolls his wrists and enters into the stare down, I'm sure I'm not the only one who gets goosebumps. We (Wanderlei included) deserve to go through this one last time, one more final fight. This matchup has to be perfect. Perfect for MMA, perfect for the UFC, perfect for Wanderlei, and perfect for the fans. Unlike my article on Fedor, the location for Wanderlei's final fight isn't as important. It could be on one of the UFC Friday Night shows the new Fox programming package will bring the viewing public, or a co-main event on a Pay Per View. The thing that is important is the opponent, the matchup.
You can't justify giving Wanderlei a non-name fighter at this point. This is no 'tune up' fight, this is it. This is (or should be) the last time Wanderlei will fight professional MMA, and his opponent should be high caliber. It would be disrespectful to everyone involved if he was given a lower level fighter for his last fight, no one wants a spectacle in the UFC of that style, this is the largest and best MMA promotion in the world. Styles make fights, everyone knows that, and this matchup should be a classic striker vs. grappler contest. The person who I believe would be a perfect send-off for Wanderlei is an individual fighting in an upcoming match for the #1 contendership for the UFC Middleweight title, Chael Sonnen.
Anderson Silva and Yushin Okami are fighting on August 27th for Anderson's Middleweight strap, and that winner will face the winner of Brian Stann and Chael Sonnen. Now, this could happen a few different ways. First, Sonnen could lose to Brian Stann. That would be fine, he could fight Wanderlei possibly in January - March of 2012. However if Sonnen beats Stann, then he will likely fight Anderson Silva (let's be real here, the Spider's probably beating Okami next weekend) for the Middleweight title sometime in early 2012. Win or lose that fight, Sonnen could face Wanderlei next. Obviously if Sonnen beats both Stann and Anderson Silva and wins the Middleweight title, he's not likely to face Wanderlei due to Wanderlei's record of late. I don't care, I think it would be a championship fight that could sell 2 million pay per views, as Sonnen's already been talking shit about Brazilians, and Wanderlei in specific. Say what you want about him, Chael can sell a fucking fight. AND he's the best high-level fighter with the perfect stylistic matchup for The Axe Murderer. Wanderlei's aforementioned Black Belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu could dissuede Chael from sitting in top position should he be able to take Silva down, and Wanderlei's clearly got an advantage on the feet, at least in the technical and power aspects.
Knowing the way Wanderlei fights, it would be interesting to see how much he could focus on his takedown defense, and BJJ off of his back in preparation for this fight. People used to say Chuck Liddell had poor wrestling, that's why he preferred to stand and trade- that's so incorrect. Chuck's wrestling was so good that no one could take him down, so they were forced to stand and trade. Wanderlei has been similar, he scrambles well to his feet and has good balance. With some small adjustments in his game plan, I think he could be victorious against Chael Sonnen.

What do you think? Who would you prefer to see him face, or do you think he should retire now and never fight again?

11 comments:

  1. Also one of my favorite fighters ever...and I'd really like to see him end his career with a great match against a worthy oponent. The Axe Murderer deserves nothing less.

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  2. Silva still has some fight left. Maybe some catch-weight bouts would suit him better right now. Maybe Antonio Nogueira vs Axe Murderer...seems Nog doesnt go to the ground nearly as much and might be a good stand up bout...both have heavy hands...icon vs icon...nuff said!

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  3. I assume you mean little Nog, Antonio Rogerio. He was scheduled to fight Rich Franklin at UFC 133, but was forced out due to injury. He could conceivably come back and fight his normal 205, or as you suggested, possibly a 195 catchweight with Wanderlei. That could certainly end in a knockout as little Nog likes to stand more than his bigger bro.

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  4. Great article and I completely agree. At this point in his career Wanderlei deserves nothing but the best. To feed him some scrub would not only disrespect him, but also his fans.

    Sadly, Wanderlei has peaked. He's at the age where the vast majority of MMA fighters, heck athletes period, see their skills/abilities fall off. Most importantly, as pointed out in your discussion, Wanderlei's chin has failed him. We've seen it happen with so many fighters. Chuck, Cro Cop, Arlovski, Wanderlei... You can only get knocked out so many times before the brain says, 'hey, enough already!'

    With that said, Wanderlei, if he chooses (which I believe he has already) to continue fighting, then he should be fed nothing short of a top 5-10 fighter. But, if I were Dana White, I'd tell him, 1 more knockout and you're done. As one of my favorite MMA fighters, I sincerely hope he doesn't go out like Chuck or Randy (f&*^ing crane kicked into retirement :( ). The Axe Murderer should go out with one last slaughter of his opponant!

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  5. شركة الكمال أفضل شركة تنظيف بحائل للتنظيف أهمية كبرى فى حياة الفرد وبالأخص المواطن

    السعودى مما
    يؤدى ذالك إلى تعرض المنزل بشكل كبير إلى الأتربة والأوساخ والبقع والدهون وأن نظافة

    المنزل تشعر الفرد بالراحة
    النفسية الكبيرة وتتكفل شركة الكمال بهذا العمل لأنها أفضل


    شركة تنظيف بحائل

    ولانها الشركة الرائدة
    والمشهود لها بالفضلى فى هذا المجال من النظافة لوجود المقومات التى تساعد على ذالك منها

    العمالة المدربة وذوى الخبرة
    والكفاءة مع وجود أحدث معدات التنظيف للفلل التى تساعد على إنهاء العمل بكفاءة ونهتم كثيرا

    بأراء عملائنا فى


    شركة تنظيف فلل بحائل

    ويقوم طاقم العمل بتنظيف الشقه بدون التسبب بأى إزعاج للعميل فلا تتباطؤ فى إختيار شركة

    الكمال لتنظيف منزلكم لأنها أفضل


    شركة تنظيف شقق بحائل

    ولأن تنظيف المجالس يحتاج إلى وقت وجهد كبير فشركة الكمال أفضل شركة تنظيف
    مجالس بحائل كفيلة بتنظيف مجلسك فى أسرع وقت وبدون جهد وبالتالى شركة الكمال هى الحل

    الأمثل فى فى مجال تنظيف المجالس
    بحائل ونحن بانتظاركم لتتصلوا على


    شركة تنظيف مجالس بحائل

    وأفضل مايميز شركة الكمال أفضل شركة تنظيف منازل بحائل وضعها للخطط قبل البدء فى
    شركة تنظيف مجالس وكنب بحائل
    شركة تنظيف سجاد

    وموكيت بحائل

    العمل وتقسيم طاقمها إلى
    مجموعات كل منها مختص بتنظيف جزء معين وتمر عملية التنظيف على عدة مراحل :-
    1- البدء بتنظيف الموكيت والكنب والمفروشات والسجاد بالأعتماد على أحدث المعدات

    الألكترونية التى تعمل بالبخار لكى
    تقضى على المشاكل التقليدية للتنظيف وهى بهتان اللون وبذالك قمنا بالأعتماد على البخار فى

    إزالة الأوساخ والبقع
    2- ثم بعد ذالك يأتى دور البلاط والأرضيات فيقوم العمال بجلى البلاط والأرضيات بأحدث

    ألالآت جلى البلاط والأرضيات


    شركة تنظيف واجهات بحائل

    شركة الكمال أفضل شركة تنظيف خزانات بحائل نظرا لارتفاع درجات الحرارة فى حائل وفى
    غيرها من باقى مدن
    المملكة ووجود مياه البحر المحلاة التى تحمل الكثير من الرمال والأتربة مما يؤدى
    ذالك إلى تكون الفطريات والجراثيم على
    جدران الخزان ويؤدى ذالك إلى تلوث المياه والتى بدورها تؤدى إلى تسمم الفرد إذا فما الحل ؟
    الحل تقدمه لكم شركة الكمال وهى أفضل
    (( شركة كشف تسربات المياه بحائل )) نسعى فى شركة الكمال بتقديم كافة خدمات كشف

    تسربات المياه ويتم كشف تسربات المياه بأحدث
    الأجهزة الألكترونية و طاقم عمل يتكون من فنيين وخبراء منهم فنيين أجانب ونسعى جاهدين

    لتقديم أفضل خدمة بأقل سعر وإرضاء العميل واسعارنا حصرية لا تقبل المنافسة لدينا فى


    شركة كشف تسربات المياه بحائل

    شركة الكمال أفضل (( شركة نقل عفش بحائل )) نقل العفش من الأمور الهامة جدا (( شركة نقل

    عفش بحائل )) التى يلزم فبها الدقة والخبرة للحد ولذالك خصصنا قسما فى شركتنا لمجال
    نقل العفش مع تجهيزه :-
    1- أسطول كبير من السياراة المجهزة والتى (( شركة نقل عفش بحائل )) أعدن خصيصا

    لنقل العفش
    2- طافم العمل المدرب على حمل وتنزيل العفش والأثاث
    3- فنيين متخصصين فى الفك والتركيب (( شركة نقل عفش بحائل ))
    ومايجعل نقل الاثاث من أشهر الخدمات التى يكثر عليها الطلب هوا أن معظم العملاء يقومون

    بتغيير عفشهم القديم أكثر من مرة فى العام ويرجع ذالك أيضا إلى أنا
    العملاء يقومون بتأجير الفلل والقصور والشقق وذالك لأنهم يحبون تغير الجو ولذالك يكون اعتما

    نا فى شركة العربى على أحسن تقنيات نقل الاثاث بداخل وخارج
    حائل ونقل الاثاث من الأعمال شديدة الكثافة لذا تحتاج إلى


    شركة نقل اثاث بحائل

    دقة عالية ومهارة فى فك العفش وحمله وإنزاله إلى السياراة وتغليفه لتقليل من شدة الصدمات

    وعدم
    تعرضه للكسر وللخدش أيضا ونستخدم فى شركة العربى أفضل وأحدث السيارات المجهزة

    خصيصا لنقل العفش

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