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MMA Pioneer and Champion Wanderlei Silva Calls It Quits

quinton-jackson-wanderlei-silva_crop_exactVeteran mixed martial arts fighter Wanderlei “The Axe Murderer” Silva (35-12-1, 1 NC) has called it quits, bringing to an end a career that has seen a lot of great fights and ups and downs. Silva announced his retirement in a video that slams the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s treatment of fighters.

Silva recounts a recent UFC event that the organization wanted him to compete in last May. The “Axe Murderer” states that he told the UFC he couldn’t fight in the event because his body was not responding to his training and that he probably wouldn’t be able to fight until the end of the year. According to Silva the UFC offered him more money to compete in the event and began to pressure him to fight in spite of the fact that he felt he wasn’t physically ready for a fight.

Silva alleges that the UFC has no concern for the fighters in its stable. An example is the treatment of No. 1 bantamweight contender Renan “The Baron” Barao (34-2, 1 NC) after he passed out while trying to make weight for his UFC 177 rematch with T.J. Dillashaw (12-2) to regain his belt. Silva asserts that fighters need about four months to prepare for a fight and that the UFC 177 fight would have been Barao’s third fight in a six month period.

When Barao missed weight he was criticized by UFC President Dana White for not making weight. Silva said that such criticism shows a lack of respect for what a fighter goes through to train for a fight and how taxing fighting and training are on a fighter’s body. Silva said that the quick turnaround from Barao’s last title fight to his fight with Dillashaw cost him his title.

Silva states that he’s retiring, “Because, I don’t have a stage to perform, where the athletes get the proper respect.” Even more interesting is the campaign of Silva fans posting photos holding signs that say “War Wand” in tribute. One of those fans is a man he met in the ring on three occasions, former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Rampage Jackson (32-10) who has left the UFC and enjoys a three fight winning streak with Ballator.