At UFC 139, Wanderlei Silva put his career back on track by knocking out Vietnamese kickboxer Cung Le, earning himself a Fight of the Night bonus along the way. Now basking in the glow of his performance, “The Axe Murderer” has opened up to discuss the reason he continues to compete despite being a MMA legend and referred to a well-known comic book character in terms of how he approaches life as a famous fighter.
“I feel like I’ve cleaned my soul,” Silva explained in an interview with Tatame before saying his teammates and fans are the main source of his inspiration. “I really needed a good performance, a regular one. I’m a victorious athlete. I’ve always had a victorious career, had some losses, which is something that happens, but my crew is awesome. (Those) guys don’t leave me, they got my back. You guys are the reason I’m here today. Thank God I’m no longer doing it for the money. I do it for the pleasure. You are the reason I (am motivated), you are my gas. Sometimes I’m not that excited and I access my Twitter account and you are always there, you’re great. This win is ours.”
It was also widely known Silva trained with UFC middleweight champ Anderson Silva to help develop his striking to fight someone with Le’s skill-set, as the former Strikeforce title-holder has a professional kickboxing record of 17-0, and is also a former San Shou world champion.
Silva commented on how he found training with the champ, saying, “Anderson is phenomenal. He came here, helped me find his timing, because now he’s a superstar and for him to find some time to help me is hard (laughs). He went there and trained with me. Thank you. I’m sure that, like I cheer on your bouts, I know you also cheered for me. Let’s represent well and let’s see if you use (your strength as a star). It’s like Spider-Man says: the more strength you have, the more responsibilities you have. So let’s see if we help the younger athletes to have the same opportunities we had to show our work to the world.”
On that topic, rather than looking towards another opponent, Silva offered an update on his plans for the future which include some community service.
“Actually, now, my new project is to return to Vegas on Monday and I’ll do a non-professional school to help the unfortunate kids. It’s not free, but we’ll assist a school there, (and) my school will no longer have a financial purpose. I want to give the chance for them to fight. About my next fight, it’s up to the boss. I feel fine, thank God I did a good fight, so let’s wait to find it out.”
Silva has now won two of his last three fights with the lone exception coming against Chris Leben at UFC 132. He holds an overall record of 34-11-1 with twenty-four strike-based stoppages and past wins over Michael Bisping, Keith Jardine, and Quinton Jackson.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC