In his prime, Wanderlei Silva was the scariest man in MMA — the kind of fighter you’d cross the cage just to avoid. As he heads into his main event fight against Rich Franklin at UFC 147 this Saturday, let’s take a moment to remember the Axe Murderer the way he should be remembered. Our favorite GIFs of Wandy tearing people apart and acting like a psycho begin after the jump…
Second, unlike their first meeting at 195 pounds, this one will happen slightly lower down the catchweight scale at 190. While that won’t matter much to Silva, who’s been competing at middleweight for the last two years, it’ll be the first time Franklin has had to fight below 195 pounds since he beat up Travis Lutter in 2008.
And of course, Silva vs. Franklin 2 will go down in Silva’s home country of Brazil, whereas their first fight at UFC 99 took place in the neutral territory of Cologne, Germany. Add up enough minor differences, and the tenor of the fight could change drastically. Franklin is a slightly heavier favorite over Wandy going into this fight (-155) as he was going into their last one (-140). Should he be?
As for the other fight on this card that you halfway-care about…
(Cote has never been the same since the night he had a run-in with Rousimar Palhares’ doppelganger.)
When all is said and done for the human race, there will be three rivalries that stand above them all in the footnotes of history: America vs. The Brits, Germany vs. Everybody, and now, Canada vs. Vietnam. Though there hasn’t been a feud between the two on the level of the Hatfields and McCoys yet, things are about to change. Why, you ask? Well, it has just been announced that Canada’s own Patrick Cote will be returning to the octagon to face Vietnamese-born San Shou expert Cung Le at UFC 148. The war that will inevitably result from this pairing will easily go down as the most significant clash Canada has gotten into since the Hans Island dispute with Denmark in the early 80′s.
Since exiting the promotion, Cote has strung together four straight wins, including a most recent first round knockout of Shooto/IFL vet Gustavo Machado, a win that we speculated could earn him a trip back to the UFC. And damn it, it feels good to be right for once.
Check out a video of Cote’s most recent performance after the jump.
(This one is for The Number 23, and the next one is for that God damn penguin movie!)
Yep, that’s right. None other than former middleweight champion Rich “Ace” Franklin will be the man to fill in for Vitor Belfort against Wanderlei Silva in the main event of UFC 147. The fight will be contested at a catchweight of 190 pounds. Sound familiar? That might be because these two met at UFC 99 back in June of 2009 at a catchweight of just five pounds heavier (a.k.a Rumbleweight, Franklinweight, Moneyweight, or 195 lbs.). The fight was an action packed affair that saw “Ace” emerge victorious by way of unanimous decision.
Though this matchup will more than likely make for an exciting fight (being that their first scrap took home FOTN honors), we may be looking at the possibility of UFC 147 being demoted from a pay-per-view to a free card at this point. And here’s why.
It has not been a good year for heated rematches set against the backdrop of MMA-themed reality shows. Not only were our hopes of Faber/Cruz III dashed before our very eyes on the tail end of what has been a forgettable season of TUF 15 here in America, but even the coaches of TUF: Brazil (or at least one-half of them) have been bitten by the injury bug, delaying a rematch that not only promised guaranteed fireworks, but one that has eluded us for what seems like a decade now.
And apparently Wanderlei Silva, a.k.a the TUF: Brazil coach who wasn’t forced out of his expected matchup at UFC 147, shares our frustration. Ever since Vitor Belfort was forced to withdraw from his much-anticipated rematch with “The Axe Murderer” due to a broken hand, Silva has seemingly exploded with rage at Belfort’s…I don’t know, clumsiness? Insolence? We’re not really sure how you criticize someone for getting injured, unless that someone is Ken Shamrock, of course, but Wandy was relentless in his mockery of Belfort, calling him an “amateur” among other things in a recent Twitter tirade:
(Fighting me) with one hand (laughs)? We are professionals. It’s a great irresponsibility not to be careful on training, a great disrespect towards the fans. I’m really sad. I’m ready to knock you out, you have nowhere to run. This fight is happening. I guess you got scared of me. Nobody trains so hard that breaks his hand. We use the best equipments, gloves, bandages.
More from Silva’s Twitter rant, along with Joana’s response, are after the jump.
(This face describes the situation better than any words truly can.)
We guess when you are able to knockout a guy in the most devastating fashion possible in front of millions of people, you can pretty much call him whatever you want to afterward. If you don’t believe us, just ask Chuck Liddell, or for that matter, UFC middleweight kingpin Anderson Silva. After front kicking Vitor Belfort into hyper-sleep in the first round of their highly anticipated grudge match at UFC 126 and subsequently trouncing Yushin Okami at UFC 134, “The Spider” spent most of 2011 rehabbing his injured shoulder and judging nude body-painting contests like the boss that he truly is. When word got out that he would in fact be rematching world-renowned shit talker Chael Sonnen at UFC 148, the war of words began once again. And per usual, 99.9% of it came from the challenger.
But don’t let the completely falsified percentages fool you, the champ can talk trash with the best of them. Just check out the clip below, in which Anderson offers Wanderlei Silva a little bit of advice on “The Axe Murderer’s” opposing coach/upcoming opponent, Vitor Belfort, after Wanderlei brings it up. Apparently unaware that he still has a microphone on, Silva makes a mistake of Frank Drebian proportions, calling the Phenom “a coward” before realizing what he has done.
Mineirinho Arena is the largest indoor arena in Brazil, capable of holding 25,000 people at full capacity.
Needless to say, the UFC is pretty excited about booking the venue. In a press release sent out by the UFC, UFC Managing Director of International Development Marshall Zelaznik issued the following statement: “It is great for our fans and for the UFC to be able to stage events in new parts of Brazil. The UFC is exploding everywhere in the country and Minas Gerais, being the third biggest state in the country, seemed like the perfect place for this.”
UFC 147 will mark the first time that the promotion held an event in Brazil outside of Rio de Janeiro since UFC Brazil was held in Sao Paulo on October 16, 1998.
(Wandy may not know English that well, but in his native tongue the guy is a regular George Carlin.)
There probably weren’t many of us who managed to catch the 11:30 p.m. stream of The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil‘s premiere episode last night, but needless to say, it was chock-full of exciting finishes and memorable one-liners from coaches Wanderlei Silva and Vitor Belfort, the best of which we’ve managed to snag a screenshot of above. Featuring a mix of 32 middleweights and featherweights vying for a spot in the illustrious, adobe constructed house, TUF: Brazil is looking like it could possibly surpass TUF 15 in terms of pure excitement, even without the help of widow’s peak and butt chin jokes. Follow us after the jump for a GIF break down of all the finishes from last night, courtesy of IronForgesIron.
Great news for all you subtitle fanatics out there. It looks like this season’s second series of The Ultimate Fighter is going to be broadcast for free starting this Sunday, compliments of TUF.tv. Airing on Sunday nights on Brazilian network Globo TV, the show will be streamed on the website starting at 11:30 p.m. ET/8:30 p.m. PT. Featuring fellow Brazilian sluggers and long time rivals Wanderlei Silva and Vitor Belfort as its coaches, TUF: Brazil has, at the risk of sounding cliche, captured the hearts of the nation, uniting them on a level that a shared hatred of Chael Sonnen could never attain.
The first episode kicks off this Sunday, and will feature eight elimination matches to whittle the thirty-two current contestants down to the sixteen which will enter the house. Being that the season takes place entirely in Brazil, we can expect the ring girls to be incredibly voluptuousness and rocking nothing but body paint for the show’s entirety. Let’s hope Vitor Belfort’s wife takes over in Arianny’s absence. Then again, being that we are in Brazil, we will also likely be treated to more than one tale of childhood poverty and/or City of God-style gang violence. Yin and Yang.
Check out a video preview of TUF: Brazil after the jump.