COMMENTARY | On Saturday, March 02, 2013, at UFC on Fuel TV 8: Wanderlei Silva vs. Brian Stann, the two fighters fought for and secured Fight of the Night honors for their in-octagon war in Saitama, Japan.
Silva (35-12) is a legend within the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA). His status as one of the most renowned MMA fighters stems from his fighting history in Japan when he fought for the now-defunct Pride organization. During his stint in the Land of the Rising Sun, Silva constantly fought other legends of the MMA game, and secured wins over many of them, including Quinton Jackson and Dan Henderson. He even became Pride's middleweight champion and boasts a number of tournament wins for said organization.
At the same time, Silva, in Japan and in the U.S. alike, is greatly known for his relentless, offensive-heavy approach to MMA. This style of fighting has served the Brazilian well on many occasions. In fact, 71% of Silva's wins have come by way of knockout. The "Ax Murderer" is undeniably one of the most entertaining fighters the world of MMA has ever witnessed.
However, despite Silva's impressive performance against Stann (12-6) at UFC on Fuel TV 8, the former Pride champion is 4-7 in his last 11 bouts. More than half of these losses have come in the form of a devastating knockout. At 36 years old, coming off a major win in his "adopted" country of Japan, retirement is an option Silva may wish to consider.
It is quite common in boxing and in MMA alike, for many combatants of the sport to fight beyond their prime. Many do so at their own demise (Rich Franklin, Randy Couture, Chuck Liddell, B.J. Penn, Matt Hughes) and are forced to confront the reality of their looming retirement only through a series of knockouts or severe beatings, usually at the hands of younger, faster opponents.
After his devastating knockout of the formidable Stann, Silva has the opportunity to retire on top. He is presented with the chance to leave the world of MMA with a significant win that occurred in a country he loves dearly - Japan.
Retirement is the only option that presents itself as logical and sound for the Ax Murderer at this point in his career. If he decides to continue fighting, Silva will greatly increase his risk of being severely knocked out again, as his chin has noticeably weakened over the years. However, if his comments at the UFC on Fuel TV 8 post-fight conference were of any indication, the Brazilian intends to continue his journey in the octagon.
"I'm happy for giving this feeling, this energy for my fans…make the show for my fans. I'm so happy for making all the guys happy in that moment. I'm so glad for make my fans happy around the world."
Silva continued and commented on his interest in returning to Japan for yet another fight in the future.
"I don't know if the UFC give me the opportunity [to fight here again]. I'm happy to fight in Japan again. I have the best moments of my life here and today is one more. I feel really happy to fight over here."
Silva has just defeated a top 10 contender in Stann. Throughout the years, he has also possessed great versatility and generated fantastic success in fighting at both 185lbs. and at 205lbs. However, if the motivation to compete in the world of MMA is to become champion (something he has yet to accomplish in the UFC), then Silva would have to square off against the current middleweight or light heavyweight champion, Anderson Silva and Jon Jones, respectively. Realistically, however, Silva would stand little chance in a bout with either of these two UFC champions.
In that, if Silva chooses to retire in an effort to preserve his legacy and health, he will undoubtedly be remembered as one of the most electrifying, prolific fighters to have ever fought in Pride and in the UFC.
Clinton Alexander Bullock has been a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioner for many years. He has studied mixed martial arts for 12 years and has been published in the Philadelphia Sunday Sun Newspaper, Next Step Magazine, and Yahoo! News. Follow him on Facebook & Twitter @clintonbullock.
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- Mixed Martial Arts
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- Wanderlei Silva
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- mixed martial arts
- Brian Stann