Wanderlei Silva is a name synonymous with fighting, MMA, Pride, the UFC, and an attitude towards all adversaries of “anyone, anytime, anywhere”. While Wanderlei has already proven his grit in Pride, and even in epic fights with Chuck Liddell and Rich Franklin while in the UFC, as of late people have questioned the Axe Murderers “Pride” to jump back into the cage because he has been openly calling for a fight with Chris Leben in the face of Dana Whites request that he fight top contender Vitor Belfort.
The reasoning behind Silvas recent twitter campaign and silence regarding Belfort has come out and standing behind him and his call for a different fight is Raphael Cordeiro. Recently Cordeiro had this to say on the subject in Wanderlei’s defense:
“I think Wanderlei is coming off multiple injuries, but, at the same time, he has a desire to make this fight. There is a desire as an athlete and a fighter to make this rematch with Vitor,” said Cordeiro, who now trains Silva out of Huntington Beach, California. “I think, at this point, in my opinion as a friend and coach, he should have a fight with someone else before Vitor. When I say someone, I mean anyone who gets him back to being active.
“This fight with Vitor will become very important in his life, and he really wants it,” he added. “For Wanderlei to be 100 percent for the fight with Vitor, it’s important that he get another fight before it.”
“Vitor just fought for the belt, and, thinking about the rhythm of the fight, he’s ahead of Wanderlei in that regard,” Cordeiro said. “I’m not saying that he’s better than Wanderlei, but Wanderlei needs to pick up his pace [before they fight].”
“I think he has the desire to fight with Vitor,” Cordeiro said. “Vitor already defeated him, and he has this desire to have revenge. However, the body says he stopped fighting a year ago and needs additional time to regenerate. He returned to training, with a focus on fighting, only 15 days ago. He was weight training, but he returned to fight training only recently. We’re still afraid to push him 100 percent. The most important thing is that the UFC wants him to fight, regardless of the time he’s been out.”
Do you believe as Cordeiro does that participating in a fight of this level would give Belfort a strong edge if the rematch were made now; or should Wanderlei do as Shogun did recently and just fight whomever while coming off of multiple injuries and a yearlong layoff?