This Saturday Brazilian striker Wanderlei Silva will meet Michael Bisping (18-2) in the main card of UFC 110 in Sydney, Australia. Silva hopes to rebound from his recent losses in UFC competition and reform himself as an elite middleweight fighter.
Silva, known as “The Axe Murderer,” “Cachorro Louco” and “Mad Dog,” will make his middleweight (185 lbs) debut this weekend. Previously fighting in the light-heavyweight division (205 lbs), Silva is the former IVC light-heavyweight champion, the first even Pride middleweight champion (205 lbs) (2001-2007), the 2003 Pride middleweight grand prix tournament winner, and was named the 2004 fighter of the year by Sherdog.
Fighting out of Curitiba, Brazil, Silva developed his devastating muay tai striking at Chute Box Academy under Rudimar Fedrigo. Upon moving to the United States in 2007 to compete in the UFC, he has trained with Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas. Silva is currently training for his upcoming fight at his newly opened facility, Wand Fight Team Academy based in Las Vegas.
Silva holds a professional MMA record of 32-10-1, 1NC coming into his fight at UFC 110. Despite his impressive record, against top-level opponents, he has lost five of his last six fights, including his last two inside the octagon. However, Silva hopes to transform himself as a middleweight fighter.
With a strong background in muay tai as well as a black belt in brazilian jiu jitsu under Carlos Gracie Jr., Silva is a complete MMA fighter. His muay tai skills have proven pivotal and at times devastating throughout his career. Of his 32 career wins, 20 have come by way of knockout or TKO.
Former UFC light-heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson knocked out Silva in their third professional meeting on Dec 27, 2008 at UFC 92. Jackson landed a quick left hook that sent Silva to the canvas, leaving him unconscious, in the first round (3:21) of the light-heavyweight battle. Silva was victorious by way of knockout and TKO in their first two fights, which took place in Pride Fighting Championship.
His next fight proved more competitive as Silva lost a unanimous decision to former UFC middleweight champion RichFranklin on June 13 in the main event of UFC 99. It was a back and forth battle featuring both fighters on their feet striking for the majority of the fight. The contest, which won fight of the night honors, was fought at a catchweight of 195 lbs.
Despite his reputation as a distinguished striker, Silva’s striking defense has been his most noticeable weakness in recent fights. In his last six fights he has faced three knockout losses. Of his 44-fight career Silva had never been knocked out and had only ever been TKO’d twice before this point, one due to a cut.
Silva’s muay tai skills will be extremely relevant in his fight with Bisping and will likely be utilized as often as possible. Bisping is a striker as well, and is known for keeping the fight standing. Of Bisping’s 18 career wins, 11 have come by way of knockout or TKO. The match will likely be a stand-up battle, featuring two talented strikers relatively new to the middleweight division.
Live pay-per-view coverage of UFC 110 will begin at 10 p.m. EST