Fight fans are likely to "Axe" nostalgic following Wanderlei Silva's crushing defeat at the hands of Chris Leben last Saturday night (July 2) at the UFC 132 pay-per-view event from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.
It's become increasingly difficult to watch what was once one of the sport's most feared attackers get reduced to nothing more than a middleweight punching bag with a ton of heart, but this is the fight game, and she is a cruel mistress.
Silva, who terrorized the Japanese fight scene for the better part of a decade, has never been the same following a sickening knockout blow suffered from an undeflected head kick uncorked by Croatian cranium cracker Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic, who damn near killed the Brazilian back in 2006 as part of the Pride Open Weight Grand Prix.
Including that loss, "The Axe Murderer" has gone 2-6 over his last eight fights and has been frighteningly finished in four of those defeats.
While Silva told the mixed martial arts community that he was "ashamed" of his performance against "The Crippler," White went on record with Fighters Only to assure the former champ he's got nothing to hang his head over:
"He has nothing to be ashamed about. He has been an amazing fighter for the last 10 years, people love and respect him. Age gets us all."
Age may be a factor, but perhaps not as much as his deterioration as a fighter.
In addition to the abuse he's taken inside the cage (and ring), Silva is also renowned for his ferocious training camps, where knocking people out -- and getting knocked out -- is all part of a good day of sparring.
Sooner or later, it catches up to you.
Hopefully Silva will come to realize, much like former nemesis Chuck Liddell did, that it's time to tie a ribbon on this thing and call it a career.
I don't know if it's ever too soon to start thinking about longterm health, but like Dana said, Wandy could hang 'em up at the close of business today and have nothing to be ashamed of.
Anyone out there disagree?