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'Goodbye Brazil:' Wanderlei Silva looks forward to UFC debut in December

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Former PRIDE FC Middleweight Champion Wanderlei Silva will return to the Octagon for the first time in more than seven years sometime in December, according to an exclusive interview with prior to his relocation to Las Vegas, Nevada.

Here's a snip from "The Axe Murderer:"

"I'm sad to leave behind my friends and family, but im going to open the doors for a lot of Brazilians, and once I'm settled down there if anyone needs help of wants to get in touch with me, I'll be available.... I was going to debut in September [in the UFC], but i asked to be moved to December. I still don't know who is going to be my opponent, but that doesn't matter, I've never chosen my opponents."

It will be more of a "return" and not so much a "debut" in the UFC for the 205-pound ChuteBoxe standout. He has three fights inside the Octagon to his credit -- two of which are losses to Vitor Belfort and Tito Ortiz back in 1998 and 2000, respectively, as well as a knockout win over Tony Petarra at UFC 20 in 1999.

Since that time, however, he has gone on to become one of the most well-known, decorated and feared fighters in the sport of mixed martial arts with nearly 30 fights (most of them wins) in PRIDE FC.

Currently riding a rare two-fight losing streak to stars Mirko Cro Cop and Dan Henderson, Silva was very close to fighting former UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell at UFC 76: "Knockout" in September. However, the deal fell apart when Silva turned down the fight because of his upcoming move to the United States.

According to him, he wouldn't have had enough time to train and be ready for the blockbuster bout.

There is currently a UFC show booked for Sin City on the weekend before New Year's Eve in December. UFC Welterweight Champion Matt Serra will defend his title against Matt Hughes that evening. Adding Silva to that pay-per-view (PPV) card against Liddell -- even though UFC President Dana White has mention he doesn't see the "fight happening" after the latest setback -- would no doubt be a monster.

Perhaps the biggest in the history of the promotion.

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