UFC 147 Aftermath: Time For Wanderlei Silva to Retire? He’ll Be Around, UFC Says
By Michael Hatamoto
PRIDE legend Wanderlei Silva lost a close decision to former middleweight champion Rich Franklin during their main event fight at UFC 147 last night, but is likely going to get another shot in the UFC octagon.
However, UFC officials still seem interested in putting together a fight between Silva and arch-nemesis Vitor Belfort, which could take place during their planned October event in Brazil.
Marshall Zelaznik, UFC international development managing director, said the following during a post-fight press conference:
“That’s certainly something we’re working towards. No contracts have been sent or signed, but I think that’s in the plans – to try and make that fight happen.”
Even if his UFC fight career is winding down, Silva could find himself serving as a UFC ambassador to Brazil in the future.
Here is what UFC President Dana White had to say during the Fuel TV post-fight show:
“Wanderlei almost won that fight [against Franklin]. It is tough to say [what’s next for him]. He used to be my arch nemesis over at Pride. But since he came to the UFC, he has been great, acting like he has been in the UFC for a long time. He has been honest and great and he is going to be with the UFC for a long time, whether he is fighting or not.”
After the type of performance Silva put in against Franklin last night, almost finishing it in the second round, it would seem like he deserves one more chance to fight in front of his home crowd. However, I think it’s time for Silva to hang them up and call it a career, after losing seven of his last 10 fights in the PRIDE ring and UFC Octagon.
I think Belfort is a bad stylistic matchup for Silva, and will be able to outstrike his fellow Brazilian before finishing the fight via KO or TKO.
We’ll have to wait and see what the UFC and Silva talk about and determine is the next best step for the longtime MMA legend.