Wanderlei Silva is an MMA icon. ‘The Axe Murderer’ was a massive star back in the days of PRIDE. Renowned for his ferocious fighting style, his matches were always brutal and entertaining. But now it feels like those days are a long time ago. At 42, he’s no longer the same man he once was.
Silva has taken a lot of damage in the last few years. Most people believe that he should retire, but that’s not what the Brazilian has planned. In fact, he’s going to bare-knuckle box again. He’s no stranger to bare-knuckle fighting thanks to his Vale Tudo days, early in his career.
Now he’s training for his BKFC debut. However, he definitely didn’t like his training partner head kicking him in a recent sparring session. Check out Silva’s furious response below.
This is why you don’t axe kick Wanderlei Silva in sparring ❌🚨🤯 pic.twitter.com/7ecA2iVcef
— MMA Eejit 🇮🇪 (@artemgoatov) October 31, 2019
‘The Axe Murderer’ is known for being a savage in the cage. But he definitely doesn’t like being made a fool of. In a recent sparring session with Chute Boxe Muay Thai Coach Michael Costa, he got very angry. Costa landed a cheeky axe kick to his fellow Brazilian and Silva saw red.
He decided to respond by unleashing a pounding on Costa and it’s a pretty brutal beating. Maybe Silva is just angry because he’s lost his last two fights. It’s not the best reaction and this sort of footage shouldn’t leave the gym. But anyway, Costa ended the round on the floor counting stars.
Silva has explained that he’s excited to fight for BKFC. He’s seen it as a way to get back to basics. However, his first-choice opponent is probably not available. In sum, he wants to take on Vitor Belfort. His fellow Brazilian holds a victory over Silva but now he’s on the books of ONE Championship. Silva explained:
“I would accept if I could face Vitor Belfort. Bare knuckles, five two-minute rounds, only boxing. I want to see if he’s a man or if he’ll run. We found the right place to settle one of the sport’s oldest rivalries. What’s up, Vitor? Are you in or are you going to run?”
The Brazilian is not the only fighter making his way into the bare-knuckle world. Hector Lombard is also set to fight for BKFC, while the likes of Artem Lobov, Gabriel Gonzaga and ‘Big Foot’ Silva are already on the roster. Meanwhile, Diego Sanchez is looking to move to fight Lethwei in Myanmar.
There has been a lot of criticism about whether or not these veteran fighters should be so actively scouted by the likes of BKFC. For example, Silva has openly said that he’s displaying several signs of CTE. There’s definitely some ethical issues there.
However, from the promoter’s perspective, this is an opportunity to get some big names on the roster. More famous fighters mean more money and that’s what it’s all about. Morality doesn’t come into combat sports.