by Jeff Cain – MMAWeekly.com
When Wanderlei Silva steps into the Octagon on
Saturday night at UFC 84 against Keith Jardine, it will mark the first time in
his decorated, 40-fight mixed martial arts career that he will be coming off of
three losses in-a-row. He not only predicts a win, but the former Pride
middleweight champion also thinks his fight with Jardine will be Fight of the
Silva returned to the Octagon at UFC 79 against
Chuck Liddell after spending seven years competing in Japan. Before the bout
with Liddell, his last match in the Ultimate Fighting Championship was in 2000
at UFC 25 where he lost a hard-fought decision to Tito Ortiz. style='font-size:10.0pt'>
Asked about his return to the UFC, Silva said,
"It was a great opportunity for me. Dana White talked to me. He gave me a
good opponent for me. He has good fighters. He gave me, first, Chuck (Liddell),
who is the best name here. And second they give me Jardine, who is a good guy.
He likes to give a show for the fans too."
Discussing the sharp contrast in audience
response between competing in Japan and fighting in the U.S., Silva stated,
"Fighting here is much different than fighting in Japan because in Japan
the people are much quieter. Here, the fans give you too much energy, too much
crowd. I love it. I love the emotion."
Silva sees the bout with Jardine as not only
an opportunity to compete against top competition, but also a path back to
fighting for a title. "He’s a very tough guy. He’s got good kicks, good
punches. He’s good on the ground. He’s strong and has good heart. He’s a good
opponent. It’s great to fight him because it’s possible that I fight with the
best names in the world," the Brazilian born fighter told MMAWeekly SoundOff
Radio. "He’s a great fighter. It’s a very, very good opportunity for me to
come back and to come back and fight for the title in the future." style='font-size:10.0pt'>
Silva admitted to not knowing much about
Jardine before sitting in attendance for UFC 76 and witnessing the Greg
Jackson-trained fighter upset Chuck Liddell by decision. "I had never seen
his fights before, only his fight with Chuck," said Silva. "Now I’ve
studied his game and looked at his fights. He has a good style. He’s a very
good striker, and I know he and I are going to give the best show of the night.
When it comes to fighting, I not only want to win, I want to give, and now it’s
better because of the bonuses, fight of the night. I know we’re going to put on
the best fight of the night.
"He’s a very dangerous guy and his kicks
are very good. It’s a great match, a very, very interesting fight. It makes for
an interesting fight."
Silva expects to put on a memorable
performance and finish Jardine. "I’m going to give a good show. I’m going
to give my best, and I’m going to win," predicted the "Axe
going to knock him out.”