While he may not have accomplished as much inside the Octagon as he did outside of it, former Pride middleweight champion Wanderlei Silva is Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Hall-of-Fame material, according to UFC boss Dana White.
Silva (34-12-1, 1 NC) is one of the most decorated fighters in mixed martial arts (MMA) history; however, a majority of his career highlights have come in organizations not named the UFC.
That matters not to the UFC president, though, as in a media scrum prior to UFC on FUEL TV 7:"Barao vs. McDonald" last month in London, White informed reporters that a spot in the Hall-of-Fame is safe for "The Axe Murderer," regardless of how the rest of his career pans out.
"Yeah, the thing is with a guy like Wanderlei, he was in his prime in PRIDE," White stated in the scrum. "Yeah he's going to be a Hall of Famer, no doubt. Wanderlei is a stud, and the nicest guy in the world. You know when you really have a lot of respect for somebody and then you meet them and they're actually worth respect, Wanderlei Silva is that guy."
During his time with Pride, Silva went 22-4-1 with one "No Contest" and ruled the 205-pound weight class with an iron fist. As his tenure with the organization came to an end, Silva noticeably began to slow down and was on the wrong end of two brutal knockouts from Dan Henderson and Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic.
Following the gruesome defeats, Silva made his way to North America where he joined the ranks of the UFC. While he has picked up wins over Keith Jardine, Michael Bisping and Cung Le inside the Octagon, the Brazilian has struggled in the big picture, losing seven of his past 10 contests.
It's not over for him yet, though, as tonight (March 2, 2013) Silva returns to "The Land of the Rising Sun" where became ever so famous in Pride and racked up highlight reel knockout after highlight reel knockout to fight Brian Stann in the main event of UFC on FUEL TV 8 at the Saitama Super Arena.
Whether he wins or loses against Stann, Silva's reputation as one of the greatest brawlers in the history of the sport won't be effected and he is still a surefire Hall-of-Fame member.
Whenever Silva's time does come to be inducted into the UFC Hall-of-Fame, he will join greats of the sport such as Mark Coleman, Randy Couture, Royce Gracie, Matt Hughes, Chuck Liddell, Dan Severn and Ken Shamrock.
MMAmania.com will provide LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire card on fight night (Sat., March 2, 2013), starting with the Facebook "Prelims," which are scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. ET, as well as the main card, which is slated to air at 10 p.m. ET on FUEL TV.
For more on the upcoming UFC on FUEL TV 8 event click here.