Home Hot Topics 5 Wanderlei Silva Fights You Need to Watch

5 Wanderlei Silva Fights You Need to Watch

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(Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Wanderlei “The Axe Murder” Silva called it a career late last week, retiring after eighteen years as a professional mixed martial artist. Unfortunately for Silva and his die hard fan base, his retirement was met with very little fan fare by the MMA community. After avoiding a random drug test and being hit with a lifetime ban by the Nevada Athletic Commission, fans now look at Silva as a martyr in the new age of MMA. While Silva’s recent actions do warrant a strict and poignant response, fans also need to remember the great things he did for the sport. Silva was must-watch TV whenever he fought. It was virtually guaranteed that his fights would end in a violent fashion or be an extremely entertaining fifteen to twenty-five minutes. As for those bouts, there are plenty that stick out in each fan’s mind I believe that there are five in particular that perfectly exemplify who Wanderlei Silva was as a fighter. Take a look below to find out.

5. Wanderlei Silva vs. Keith Jardine at UFC 84

Wanderlei Silva
Photo via UFC.com

Wanderlei Silva was in desperate need of a win heading into his UFC 84 bout against Keith Jardine. “The Axe Murderer” was in the midst of a three fight losing streak, including a unanimous decision loss in his UFC debut to Chuck Liddell. What happened in Silva’s bout with Jardine showed Silva fans that the Brazilian still had that killer instinct. Thirty-six seconds was all it took for Silva to dispatch of the Jackson’s MMA product. The finish was as brutal as any knockout on Silva’s resume as he delivered multiple unanswered blows while in the mount position over his opponent. One thing was certain after this fight: the Axe Murderer wasn’t going anywhere.

4. Wanderlei Silva vs. Kazushi Sakuraba I at PRIDE 13

(Photo: Divulgação)
(Photo: Divulgação)

The first of three meetings between Wanderlei Silva and Kazushi Sakuraba was easily the biggest moment in the Brazilian’s career leading up to that point. Sakuraba was an absolute superstar in Japan and a win over him was huge exposure for any fighter. Silva didn’t just pick up a win over Sakuraba, he absolutely starched the Japanese MMA legend. Silva’s signature knees and soccer kicks were on display as he picked up the TKO victory in just one minute and thirty-eight seconds. Not only did this bout do wonders for Silva’s popularity in Japan, it also helped him explode onto the scene with American audiences.

3. Wanderlei Silva vs. Chuck Liddell at UFC 79

(Photo: Josh Hedges
(Photo: Josh Hedges)

While Wanderlei Silva vs. Chuck Liddell may have happened a few years too late, the bout more than delivered for fight fans world wide. Silva and Liddell threw down for fifteen minutes in what was easily the best fight of 2007. Silva ended up losing the bout via unanimous decision, but provided the sport of MMA with its version of Ali vs. Frazier.

2. Wanderlei Silva vs. Brian Stann at UFC Fight Night Japan

wanderlei-silva-vs-brian-stann

In what would be Wanderlei Silva’s swan song as an MMA fighter, “The Axe Murder” left a lasting impression on fans with his two round classic with former WEC champion Brian Stann. The entirety of the bout was a back and forth test of will as both fighters were wobbled, dropped, and nearly finished. Silva likely lost the first round but that didn’t matter come the second. Silva caught Stann with a huge right hand and followed the former Marine to the floor with multiple punches to turn his lights out. The fight was vintage Silva and provided newer fans with a glimpse of what made Silva so loved among the MMA community.

1. Wanderlei Silva vs. Rampage Jackson II at PRIDE 28

(Photo via: finalroundsports.blogspot.com)
(Photo via: finalroundsports.blogspot.com)

If you’re ever sitting around with your buddies who don’t watch MMA and want to know more about this “Wanderlei Silva” guy, the Brazilian’s second fight with Rampage Jackson is the one tape you need to show them. This fight won multiple Fight of the Year awards in 2004 and featured one of MMA’s most iconic finishes. After a back and forth first round which ended with Jackson mounting Silva and nearly ending the fight, Silva battled back in the second and unleashed a bevy of knees from the Muay Thai clinch that left “Rampage” sleeping and hanging from the ropes. The fight’s ending was the epitome of violence and is everything you could ever need to know about the MMA legend known as Wanderlei Silva.

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Daniel Reveles
Born and raised in Santa Barbara, California, Daniel Reveles' interest in Mixed Martial Arts began at the age of fourteen while attending a Fantasy Football draft at a Friend's house. That day Daniel's buddies ordered UFC 88 on Pay-Per-View featuring lauded striker and hometown hero Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell squaring off with Division One Wrestler “Suga” Rashad Evans. After seeing “the wrestler” Rashad Evans put the Ice Man out cold with an overhand right, Daniel became instantly hooked by the unpredictability of the sport. Since that moment Daniel has become well versed in Mixed Martial Arts History and has yet to miss an event. Daniel is currently studying at the University of California Santa Barbara to receive his Bachelor's Degree in Communications with hopes of becoming the next big media mogul. When he is not watching MMA or studying you can find Daniel hanging out with his family and friends or taking in a game at the lovely Dodger Stadium.