The consummate crowd favorite says that he actually took some time to decide whether or not he’d have enough time to prepare for the short notice bout as a fill in for Le’s original opponent, Vitor Belfort, who bowed out of the event due to injury.
“I was just chilling. I was at home with my son. These days I’ve been teaching classes at my gym. I got a text asking if I wanted to fight at UFC 139. I was in shock. But a good shock. I was planning on fighting again, but I didn’t think it would be so fast. I was preparing to go back in February. I wasn’t sure right away,” he reveals. “I was thinking if I needed more than eight weeks, but I was already conditioned from [my fight with Chris Leben in July]. I took a break from training, since I had no fight scheduled, but now I’m already training good and hard. I was very happy. It was a great surprise.”
According to Kos, he asked for either Leben, Rich Franklin or Wanderlei Silva for his first bout back since losing to Georges St-Pierre at UFC 124. A broken orbital bone he suffered in the opening minutes of the bout required surgery and left him sidelined for the better part of the past year. The reason for the jump back up to middleweight — the class he competed in on The Ultimate Fighter — he says was because anyone of relevance in his own weight class was already tied up.
Wanderlei Silva was in Germany recently where he conducted a seminar in Frankfurt and was interviewed by GroundandPoundTV. The former PRIDE star says that in spite of a growing opinion that he should probably walk away from the sport following his most recent knockout loss to Chris Leben at UFC 132 in July, he ain’t goin’ out like that as he owes it to his fans to retire out with his head held hight, not held by the referee as he comes to.
“I rushed. I [was] so excited to be back to fighting and in the co-main event that I did something wrong at the start of the fight. But it happens. I need to come back to training. I hear a lot of guys talking, ‘I gonna retire…gonna retire.’ I can’t retire. Not after that fight. Maybe if I won I could retire, but I can’t retire now. I’m gonna go back to fight for sure and I hope I give a good show for my fans. I’m gonna talk to [Dana White], but he’s so busy right now. We’re gonna talk soon, but for sure, it’s not the last [fight]. After my career, I can’t have one last fight in my career like that. I want to make one fight. I want to announce when I’m gonna retire and I wanna make one big party for my fans. I have a lot of fans that have been been following me for more than ten years. I look at them and they’re like men who some are 25 years old and they say, ‘Man, I’ve saw you since I was a little kid.’ It’s for that kind of guy that I fight.”
While suffering through The Change-Up this weekend, I started thinking about the hypothetical situation of MMA fighters switching bodies. Obviously, one fighter would get the short end of the stick, like in all relationships, but other than that, it’s all good news from there. Imagine the man with a warrior spirit and broken body upgrading for a newer model. Imagine the heavy-duty gas-guzzler being replaced by a tiny, eco-friendly, electric car. Imagine experience and youth joining forces to reign terror on anything that steps in its way. So who most deserves a cinematic body-swap? Read on and find out…
BJ Penn and Brock Lesnar
Advantage: Baby Jay
For years, Penn has been criticized for his lack of self-discipline and willingness to stay in shape. Switching bodies would solve that problem and create what might be the best heavyweight in UFC history. A Nova Uniao Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt with explosive striking and a granite chin, Penn has everything that Lesnar wishes he had. The Prodigy would be a wrecking ball at heavyweight if he had Brock’s body — as long as the viking took the diverticulitis thing with him. If he had to keep the illness during the switch, then I guess we could all agree that we’d like to see Josh Koscheck trade bodies with Brock.
If you watch MMA long enough, every fight, knockout, and submission begins to look familiar — which makes these classic bouts that much more special.
Wanderlei Silva Wins Via Choke vs. Bob Schrijber @ Pride Grand Prix 2000 Opening Round, 1/30/00
Though he has two other submission victories on his record due to strikes, Wanderlei Silva has only ended one fight in his 15-year career with a legit, bonafide submission hold. It went down during his third PRIDE appearance against renowned kickboxer Bob Schrijber, in a reserve bout for the 2000 PRIDE GP. After some standup brawling, Wandy secures a takedown, immediately lands in mount, and slugs “Dirty Bob” until the Dutchman is forced to roll. From there, Silva sets up a rear-naked choke — you can tell that grappling’s not really his strong-suit — and eventually gets the tap.
Tito Ortiz Fights Outside of the UFC vs. Jeremy Screeton @ West Coast NHB Championships 1, 12/8/98
After going 1-1 in his Octagon debut at UFC 13, Tito Ortiz took a tune-up fight at an NHB tournament in Los Angeles. The result was a fast, gnarly, PRIDE-style victory for the future superstar. Screeton shoots in on Ortiz, but the Huntington Beach Bad Boy uses his own formidable wrestling skills to reverse his opponent onto the mat. Two brutal knees to the head later, and Screeton was tapping out the morse code to “get me the fuck out of here.” Ortiz was invited back to the UFC the following month, and has never left. Seriously, we can’t get rid of this guy.
Growing up in the gang-infested town of East Paulo Alto California, Eugene Jackson used his fists to settle any conflicts he had. He soon realized that his punching prowess could be used to earn him some cash in addition to the street cred he had behind his name in EPA, so in the 90s he began fighting in MMA where he would fight 25 times, under the UFC, Strikeforce, IVC and IFC banners against guys like Wanderlei Silva, Joe Doerksen, Jeremy Horn and Ricardo Almeida.
Having retired with a 15-9-1 record after losing to Joe Riggs in Strikeforce back in 2007, Jackson decided he wanted to give local kids a leg up that he never had so he opened up a a non-profit gym for at risk youth with his own money in 2009. The facility, which was little more than a warehouse with some mats, heavy bags and a crudely thrown together collection of weights became a hugely popular community center where teens who might normally be enticed into gang-banging would hang out every day to hone their fighting skills.
Eventually city authorities demanded improvements to the building that he could not afford and he was forced to close the gym, but that didn’t deter him.
Cruising through a bad Wikipedia Hole this morning, I realized that I’d never seen the full video of Wanderlei Silva‘s first victory in the UFC, a knockout of Tony Petarra. This went down at UFC 20 on May 7th, 1999, about seven months after Silva’s steamrolling at the hands of Vitor Belfort, and a year before his unsuccessful light-heavyweight title bout against Tito Ortiz (which would be Wandy’s last Octagon appearance for seven years).
Petarra was a 32-year-old submission fighter from Rancho Cucamonga who was making his UFC debut that night, and was in way over his head. Petarra clinches immediately, looking to take the fight to the mat. Silva stays on his feet and starts firing knees, first to the body, and then right into the rookie’s grill. Wanderlei snatches the full plum at the fight’s 2:45 mark, and the fight is over seconds later.
Later in the video, Mike Goldberg has a sit-down with Ortiz, who gives it up to Silva’s performance and calls out Frank Shamrock. Also, Bruce Buffer looks so young in the fight introduction that he could pass for Shia LaBeouf‘s older brother. Ah, memories!
Add UFC lightweight Clay Guida to the list of MMA fighters who have acted in television commercials. With the guest spot above he did in the latest Safe Auto Ad, “The Carpenter” joins the ranks of the likes of Kurt Pellegrino, Jon Jones, Georges St-Pierre, Bob Sapp, Wanderlei Silva, Mirko Cro Cop and Mark Coleman.
Check out some of our other amesomely cheesy favorites after the jump.