Wanderlei Silva hasn’t fought for almost a year when he won a Unanimous Decision over Michael Bisping last February at UFC 110, but that hasn’t kept the outspoken Brazilian from consistently making MMA headlines. Silva had been expected to fight Yoshihiro “Sexyama” Akiyama last June at UFC 116 but was forced to pull out after sustaining 3 broken ribs during training. Chris Leben was a late replacement for Silva and won the fight with an impressive Triangle Choke in the 3rd round. Shortly after, Leben called out Wanderlei Silva as the next fight he wanted. At the time Silva thought a match-up with Leben would be a great fight for him and told MMAFighting “He won’t pass the first two rounds with me”. However, the anticipated fight between Leben and Silva was never meant to be as Dana White decided to give Leben to Brian Stann per Stann’s request.
Meanwhile, a smack-talk happy Chael Sonnen would go on to get his title-shot against UFC Middleweight Champion, Anderson Silva, which he ultimately lost. Shortly after that fight, Wanderlei Silva expressed his disdain for Sonnen’s smack-talk and scolded him in the back of a van, as seen: here. During that conversation, Sonnen said his next fight would be a rematch with Anderson Silva, but as we all know Sonnen
shamed his way out of lost that immediate title-shot after he tested positive for PEDs following the UFC 117 fight. Sonnen then turned his attention to Wanderlei as he began to stew over that van scolding and entered into a Twitter war of words with Wandy that many thought was leading to a meeting in the Octagon. But then, Sonnen went and got himself all mixed up in some money laundering scheme, thus sidelining his UFC career for awhile.
Oh no! Now who would Wandy fight? Enter Brian Stann, the former Marine and virtual newcomer who abolished Chris Leben with knees and strikes in the first round. Stann, who has proved to be a refreshingly humble fighter is now one of the top Middleweights to watch out for and when asked who he’d like to face next, he quietly and respectfully asked for Wanderlei Silva. Dana White seemed all for this bout, but Silva wasn’t quite up for marketing or accepting this one. According to MMA Junkie, White said:
“We were actually trying to hook [Silva] up with Brian Stann. He doesn’t want to fight Brian Stann. He’s like, ‘[Expletive] that. Everybody is going to hate me if I fight Brian Stann. Everybody loves Brian Stann.’ But that’s the fight we’re trying to make right now.”
And “make” they did as the two Middleweights were signed on to meet at UFC 130 this May. But… then a highly regarded fellow Brazilian nemesis, Vitor Belfort lost a title-shot with Anderson Silva at UFC 126 due to a high kick so majestic, Steven Seagal lays claim to its very invention. And Wanderlei Silva came forth with the request that he and Belfort settle a long overdue score. Silva challenged Belfort via Brazilian outlet, Tatame:
“And now, where are you running to? I’d give him the number one (on the line to fight me) easily, I’m challenging him … I want him”.
And now friends… he’s got him! Wanderlei Silva is out of UFC 130 and Wandy vs. Vitor Belfort II is set for UFC [yet to be numbered] Rio. Let’s hope after all his hard hyping work, this fight actually happens and Wanderlei doesn’t end up on the losing end of this rematch as he did their first time in the cage, as seen below:
*Editor’s note: Don’t knock that sweet little Wanderlei/James Brown photoshop pic we did; though we actually could have used this old pic of Wandy in his younger days: