Desperate times call for desperate measures.
Mixed martial arts legend Wanderlei Silva was fighting for his job at UFC 139 last weekend, in the co-main event opposite San Shou striker and former Strikeforce middleweight champion Cung Le.
The 185-pound tilt, which took place at the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California, saw "The Axe Murder" implement a more cautious gameplan than in previous fights. While he took some abuse in the opening round, his patience paid off in the second stanza, when a slower, more plodding Le lost some of the snap in his offense.
That marked the beginning of the end.
Silva swarmed his fading foe and unleashed his trademark blitzkrieg of punches, elbows and knees, rearranging Le's face and turning his nose into a pretzel, kind of like Anderson Silva did to Rich Franklin in back-to-back fights.
Not by a long-shot. Silva (via Tatame.com) actually prepared for his Nov. 19 showdown by mixing it up with "The Spider" and learning a few tricks of the trade in training camp.
"I feel like I’ve cleaned my soul. I really needed a good performance, a regular one. I’m a victorious athlete. I’ve always had a victorious career, had some losses, which is something that happens, but my crew is awesome. They guys don’t leave me, they got my back. You guys are the reason I’m here today. Thanks’ God I’m no longer doing it for the money. I do it for the pleasure. You are the reason I got motivations, you are my gas ... Anderson is phenomenal. He came here, helped me find his timing, because now he’s a superstar and for him to find some time to help me is hard (laughs). He went there and trained with me. Thank you. I’m sure that, like I cheer on your bouts, I know you also cheered for me. Let’s represent well and let’s see if you use this strength. It’s like Spider Man says: the more strength you have, the more responsibilities you have. So let’s see if we help the younger athletes to have the same opportunities we had to show our work to the world."
Now that Wandy is back in the win column the question remains, where does he go from here? While a title chase seems unlikely, are there any novelty fights that interest you?
Fantasy matchmakers, let's hear what you've got.
For complete UFC 139 results and a detailed recap of all the action click here. To check out a recap of the UFC 139 prelim fights that were seen Spike TV, click here and here. Want to know what happened with the UFC 139 Facebook Prelims portion of the card? To read a full recap click here.
And just in case you want to get up to speed on the entire UFC 139 fight card from top to bottom click here.