Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight and part-time light heavyweight Wanderlei Silva has retired from mixed martial arts (MMA) after a career that spanned nearly 20 years, including a dominant run in the now-defunct PRIDE FC promotion.
"With a heavy heart I come here today to declare I am stepping down from the ring. After today, Wanderlei Silva will not fight again. My career is over because I don't have a stage to perform where athletes get the proper respect. For these reasons, I have had enough. They tried to turn my fans against me. My fans, who have followed me for 20 years, before this promotion even existed I was already fighting in Brazil. I have fought bare-knuckle and I helped build this sport. Everything you see today, I helped build with my sweat and blood."
That's one way of looking at it.
Silva found himself in hot water earlier this year after skipping out on a pre-fight drug test, one that also popped planned UFC 175 opponent Chael Sonnen. "The Axe Murderer" first appeared before Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) on June 17 as part of a fact-finding mission and revealed he did, in fact, take diuretics to help with an injury.
Then somehow talked his way out of punishment, even if was only a temporary reprieve.
Silva, who hasn't seen the inside of a cage since knocking out Brian Stann last year in Japan, finishes with a record of 35-12-1 (1 NC) with 25 wins by way of knockout/technical knockout.
Despite all the recent shenanigans, he was a fun fighter to watch and will definitely be missed.