Former PRIDE middleweight champion Wanderlei "The Axe Murderer" Silva is taking time off to rest and recuperate as well as sort out his future in mixed martial arts according to Brazil's Gazeto De Povo.
Once considered one of the top 205lb fighters in the world, Silva is coming off two disappointing losses to Mirko Cro Cop at the 2006 Open Weight Grand Prix and to Dan Henderson back in February at PRIDE 33.
Since then Silva's future has been uncertain. His much-hyped but now improbable match against Chuck Liddell has lost some of its luster with Silva's recent defeats.
Those close to Wandy's camp attribute his performance to fighter burnout, and having competed in nearly 40 matches in the past ten years against top talent, it's certainly a possibility.
In addition, Silva is presently without a contract. While he admits to speaking with UFC president Dana White, terms have yet to be discussed. Silva seems intent on taking time off in hopes to return to the sport as the same Wandy that terrorized PRIDE middleweights including Quinton Jackson for several years.
That is unless Dana White can deliver on the rumored PRIDE vs UFC tournament. An event of that magnitude says Silva, may be too sweet for even him to pass up.
Let's hope that if it does happen, it's enough motivation to bring back the Wandy of old. Otherwise he'll become just another punch line in the ongoing PRIDE vs UFC fan debate.