For nearly three decades, Wanderlei Silva has stepped inside a cage or ring and battled against some of the biggest and best fighters of his generation. Now, 51 fights later, "The Axe Murderer" reveals that he is battling through concussion-like symptoms.
In an interview with PVT, a Brazilian website, Silva claims that he has eight symptoms that are related to concussions. The 42-year-old started out in Muay Thai before transitioning to vale tudo and finally mixed martial arts.
"I was in a lecture about concussion and of the 10 symptoms the guy mentioned, I had eight," Silva recalled. "The symptoms would be, for example, mood swings, getting angry very fast, forgetting some things, having difficulty sleeping.
"In our time, I believed that the more punch you took, the more you could bear it. And it's the other way around: the more punches you take, the less you can handle at the time of the fight. If it is to leave a tip for the boys, it is not to get beat up every day. Those who have a young student (in MMA), do not let the student get punched in the head."
Silva's last fight came in came in September when he was finished by Quinton "Rampage" Jackson at Bellator 206. He has not scored a victory in MMA since a 2013 knockout of Brian Stann at an event on FUEL TV for the UFC. Still, despite the losses and issues with his concussions, Silva isn't planning on retiring just yet and even has an opponent in mind for his next bout in VItor Belfort.
"It would be a perfect event to bring Bellator here to Brazil," Silva said of the matchup. "I'm most interested in this rematch. I cannot talk about the guy because I lost. I'll do two more (fights) with him if he wants to, no problem at all. I'm fine, I'm healthy, I'm training and at this point in my career, it would be a great goal for everyone. I cannot end my career without this fight."
Silva and Belfort squared off for the first and only time all the way back in 1998, with Belfort earning a victory in just 44 seconds. That was the seventh professional fight for Silva.