Former PRIDE FC Middleweight Champion Wanderlei Silva denies recent statements from UFC President Dana White that he didn't want to fight Chuck Liddell in an article just posted on MMAWeekly.com -- the contents for which was taken from an interview the Brazilian posted on his official Web site.
"The Axe Murderer," it seems, simply didn't want to fight him at UFC 76 in September.
Here's the latest:
"I never said that I wouldn't fight Chuck. I've wanted this fight for a long time. I received a contract with two options, I could fight in September or November. I have chosed to make this fight in November. I was the first to want this fight, but they kept avoiding this fight. Now there's a lot of people saying that I have ducked Chuck. This is not true."
According to Silva, timing was the issue that prevented him from taking the fight in September. He's moving to the United States in a few weeks and wouldn't be able to put in the amount of training necessary to be at his best.
Since news of this fight falling a part emerged just a few days ago, the UFC has pinned the blame on Silva. Not surprising, Silva is not going to sit idle and be the scapegoat.
Because why would one of the most punishing fighters in the history of the sport -- a man who has competed against the elite for years -- turn down a big payday and refuse to fight?
It seems he didn't.
Then again, it appears that there are more than likely three sides to this story: The UFCs, Silva's and the absolute truth.
Regardless, Silva goes on to say that he is still down to fight Chuck in November if, of course, Liddell doesn't "hide" from the showdown.
Here's a snip:
"I want to fight chuck in November and make a huge show, and make it the biggest show ever...I have no doubts it's the most important fight of my life. I know Chuck is a great name in the U.S., we'll do a great fight. I think I must be in my best shape, so I want this time to train better to be in my bets shape ever. This fight is on, if he Chuck doesn't hide behind this mess."
Sounds like fightin' words to me. It also sounds like this monster clash isn't "dead forever" -- at least from Silva's perspective.
Finally, it appears that there is a solution within reach to this mess: Both fighters want to throwdown in November (For the latest on Liddell click here).
Make it happen, please, Dana White.