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[VIDEO] Wanderlei Silva Offers to Sponsor Fighters Passed Over By Reebok Deal via Social Media

Wanderlei Silva may not be the hero MMA wants right now, but dammit, he’s the hero it needs.

While the sketchy stipulations surrounding his departure from the sport have been well documented, there’s no denying that he has made some thoughtful, not to mention passionate points about issues like fighter pay and treatment in the time since. You might say he’s a phoenix of sorts, rising from the possibly enhanced ashes of his former self to become the symbol of a movement that MMA is in dire need of.

Take his latest video, for instance, wherein he continues his crusade for better fighter pay by breaking down the much talked about Reebok deal. Although Wandy seems cautiously optimistic that the deal might very well be a sign that the UFC is finally starting to heed his cries, he also is aware how badly the deal will screw over up and coming fighters without any real name recognition. To help combat this, Silva has offered to sponsor said screwed-over fighters via his social media:

What can a young fighter offer to his sponsors, if not the space on their shorts? To help, I am giving space on all my social media, which reaches millions of people. Show your sponsors and I will post it to my friends. That way you can offer a lot more exposure to your sponsors and even get new ones. And I want to ask the other fighters, our icons in the sport. It’s the minimum we can do and for me it’s a pleasure to help the next generation. I know what a fighter goes through until he can make a name for himself.

Additionally, Wanderlei called for other top fighters and “icons in the sport” to offer the same kindness to younger fighters, stating “it’s the minimum we can do.”

As we’ve already discussed, the terms of the Reebok deal — where fighters in the top 15 of each class receive compensation according to where they are ranked by so-called “expert panelists” — seem to be grounded in a conflict of interest that is wide open for corruption. While we’ll have to wait and see the actual dollars and cents before we pass a total judgement, it’s nothing short of inspiring to see Wanderlei take such a hands-on approach to ensuring that the little guy is looked out for. He’s quite literally putting his money where his mouth is, which is more than we’ve been able to say about “The Axe Murderer” in some time.

Think about this for a second: Less than six months ago, Wanderlei Silva was a drug test-dodging social pariah who was treated like an outcast in his own country. The good will he had built as a legend of the sport had been eroded, and he seemed all but destined to toil away in the solitude of a dimly lit basement, screaming into a camera with bro-metal blasting triumphantly in the background. Now, he’s the voice of the frikin’ voiceless.

God I love the freak show that is MMA.

-J. Jones

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