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Wanderlei Silva: 'After years of fighting, my body made me stop this time'


Props: Fighter's Only


"I went through a very tense and difficult weekend and had a very hard decision. Two weeks ago I felt pain in my knee while I was training wrestling. I had an MRI of my knee and three doctors told me my knee was torn. I took medicine to help with the pain, and although my knee felt loose, I said 'no,' this date is very important to me and I continued training. Last Friday, during sparring, I injured my rib. It was very painful and the next day I had an x-ray and an MRI. I discovered I had three broken ribs. After years of fighting, my body made me stop this time. This is a very, very, very hard moment for me. This was a fight I really, really desired. You cannot imagine how much I wanted to fight on this card. It was my birthday, I had friends and family from Brazil and around the world coming to see me and now I cannot fight. I apologize to my opponent. I hope that I can fight with you in the future. You are an amazing fighter."

A battered and remorseful Wanderlei Silva comments on the recent injuries suffered in training camp that ultimately led to his withdrawal from the UFC 116 co-main event against Yoshihiro Akiyama on July 3. "The Axe Murderer" has enjoyed a long and successful career even prior to his run with the UFC, but are the years of abuse finally catching up to him? While he's listed as 33-years-old, he may carry double that in fight years. Are we seeing the beginning of the end? Or is this just a minor bump in the road en route to another run through the middleweight division?

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