The former Pride champion had to deal with a swarm of retirement rumors after his knockout loss to Chris Leben in July. UFC President Dana White remarked at the time that Silva’s time in the UFC may have come to a close after the devastating first round knockout.
While the loss to Leben was tough, Silva had just defeated Michael Bisping one fight prior to that, and also had a three round war with former middleweight champion Rich Franklin before that.
Despite White’s comments about Silva’s future, the Brazilian says he never contemplated retirement after that fight.
“I never give up. I’m fighting for 20 years in my life right now, and I’m healthy, I make all tests with the doctors. I’m too good and great condition and I’m going to prove that on Saturday,” Silva said on Wednesday.
The term legend doesn’t get tossed around very much in MMA, but Wanderlei Silva has absolutely earned legendary status that also includes his unprecedented 15-fight win streak and title run while fighting under the Pride banner.
Since coming to the UFC, Silva has gone just 2-4, but also faced some of the stiffest competition the promotion had to offer.
As he heads into his fight this weekend against former Strikeforce middleweight champion Cung Le, retirement talk is the last thing that’s creeping into Silva’s mind.
He reminds everyone that one fight can’t define a fighter’s career, good or bad, and Silva has no plans of going anywhere except back into the cage after this bout at UFC 139.
“I have a lot of fans in the world that want to watch my fight. What happened in the last fight can happen with anybody. The first three minutes were strong and one punch finished the fight. You can’t tell Cain Velasquez he’s going to retire right now because he lost in one minute. This can happen with everybody,” Silva said.
“One fight can’t tell about a fighter. I know I’m going to fight again, again and again.”
From the sound of things, the retirement talk has sparked a new fire inside of Wanderlei Silva. Now it’s up to him to unleash it on Cung Le at UFC 139 and prove that he can still be the ‘Axe Murderer’ of old.