Former Pride middleweight champion and current Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight Wanderlei Silva isn't done yet following a second-round knockout of Brian Stann at UFC on FUEL TV 8 earlier this month in Saitama, Japan.
The Brazilian's career appeared to be coming to an end going into the bout against Stann, as Silva was on a skid of seven losses in his past 10 bouts. While he did absorb some punishing blows and was dropped multiple times in the fight with "All-American," Silva put on his best performance in years, earning a highlight reel finish.
"The Axe Murderer" was a heavy underdog going into the fight, but it mattered not as he was a man possessed, competing in front of his beloved Japanese fans for the first time since 2006. Few expected Silva to defeat a prime opponent in Stann, and while it was stunning result to most, Silva is just happy to prove his worth by defeating a "new generation" fighter.
"It means a lot because everybody knows he's a tough opponent and I'm so happy to have that performance against one guy from the new generation," Silva said on Friday's (March 8, 2013) edition of ‘Inside MMA' on AXS TV. "He be the former WEC champion and he's a tough opponent and we make one of the best rounds in all the UFC's."
The memorable brawl against Stann was arguably Silva's best performance inside the Octagon, which led many of his detractors to reconsider how much the 16-year mixed martial arts (MMA) veteran has left in the tank.
Despite fans and media seemingly planning his retirement for him after 49 professional fights, Silva not ready to hang up the gloves just yet and is just going to take his career one bout at a time as long as he feels mentally and physically healthy.
"I make one fight each time," Silva said. "When I feel good, when I feel healthy I'm going to fight. Sometimes I have the rope on the neck and I'll be dead then pop, again, it comes off a little bit, so if the public wants we are there, but not yet."
There is a contingent who believes it would be a storybook ending to Silva's career if he retired after a stellar performance against a legitimate opponent in a main event fight in his adoptive home country of Japan. And while it's hard to make an argument against it, Silva is constantly putting on ‘Fight of the Night' worthy performances and tells fans calling for his retirement to slow down, because he isn't done yet.
"I make three ‘fights of the night' in a row against Cung Le, against Franklin and right now, I make four bonuses in three fights," explained Silva. "I don't know what I can do better. The last fight was so close, I was so close to beat Franklin and I don't know man, why do the guys want to retire me? Slow down.
"The public is the boss, the public wants [me to fight], I will be there."