by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
One of the most talked about fights in MMA history has finally been signed as Wanderlei Silva and Chuck Liddell are set to meet in the Octagon on Dec. 29 at UFC 79.
Silva and Liddell are at critical points in their respective careers with both coming off of back to back losses and a third would be considerably devastating in a sport that doesn’t hesitate to create new stars out of a legend’s ashes.
With so many former Pride stars struggling in their UFC debuts, most recently Silva’s former training partner, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, it is Wanderlei who steps into this latest challenge with realistic expectations and a renewed fire for fighting.
“A fight’s a fight,” said Silva. “Now I train only the cage, the Octagon, of course I want to do my best, I want to give good emotion for my fans here. I’ve been waiting for this moment for a long time, and I’m going to give my best.”
Silva’s most recent loss was to now UFC light heavyweight Dan Henderson in a performance that left fans wondering what happened to the former Chute Boxe star who looked unbeatable for so many years while defending his Pride middleweight championship.
Now relocated to the U.S., Silva has started training in Florida as well as at Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas to get him ready for his turn to the UFC against Liddell.
“I’m training hard, I only fight to win,” Silva stated. “I want to come back to the top and fighting with Chuck now is the best moment for me.”
Many have questioned Silva’s stamina in the sport after so many hard fought battles while competing in Pride, but the Brazilian is quick to point out the best is yet to come.
“In the next 2 years, I will give you the best of my career,” Silva said.
While his focus is now solely based on Chuck Liddell, many fans are quick to notice that Silva has two dominant victories over current UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, but the former Pride champion has his priorities well in line.
“For me this is the opportunity to come back to the top. First, I’m going to knock out Chuck and after I want the belt.”
Silva’s debut will surely garner the attention of every MMA fans that has been waiting with baited breath for his debut and a fight with Chuck Liddell after this long will likely be exactly what they’ve all been waiting for.