Countdown to retirement: Wanderlei Silva wants 10 more fights before leaving MMA

via mmafrenzy.com

How do you know when it's time to let go?

The recent high profile retirements of some of the greatest mixed martial arts stars of yesteryear (see Liddell, Chuck and Couture, Randy) has quite a few of the sports stars that are still hanging around coming to grips with their own mortality.

One of them being the most hallowed killer in the history of the game, Wanderlei Silva.

"The Axe Murderer" has seen more than his share of battles and fought through enough wars to last a lifetime. His resume is as impressive as it is long.

At the age of 34, the Brazilian is still relatively young but when one considers the sheer volume of fights he's engaged in throughout his tenure in MMA (45 total), it's natural to think it might finally be time for the former Pride king to hang 'em up.

However, that staggering number will grow by at least 10 if it's up to Silva. The beloved brawler took to Twitter to let fans know exactly how many fights he thinks he has left in his old tired bones.

"I want to make more ten fights in my career. It's amazing, when I think about it my eyes are filled with tears ... Thank God because for some years now I don't need to fight for money, I do it because I'm crazy for you. My fans are my reason [for fighting] ... You have no idea how I do feel when I am inside that [the cage]. It's unique and intense. I've competed my whole life, I don't know how it'll be afterwards."

Awww.

The countdown to Silva's retirement begins with a long-awaited -- and highly anticipated -- match-up against middleweight masher Chris Leben at UFC 132 on July 2 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

But will Wandy ever make it all the way to 10 considering the heavy toll his stand-and-bang style has taken on his body throughout his 15-year career?

After losing five of six fights from 2006 to 2009, Silva sought a reorientation (as Georges St. Pierre would call it) of his career by moving down to the 185-pound division.

He was impressive in his first showing, a unanimous decision win over Michael Bisping, but can his body hold up to the weight cuts and tough fights that await him?

Stay tuned.

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