After more than three years away from MMA, Wanderlei Silva was scheduled to make his comeback fight on December 29 in Japan at the #RIZIN open-weight tournament quarterfinal. The Brazilian was scheduled to take on the Croatian legend Mirko Cro Cop in what would be the pair's trilogy fight, but unfortunately Silva was forced to pull out due to injury.
However, #WanderleiSilva claimed that it was due to injuries sustained after being hit by a car in May that forced him to pull out of the bout.
Sporting a magnificent mustache and speaking Portuguese, the Brazilian took to YouTube to reply to #CroCop, reiterating his desire to face the heavyweight in the near future.
My recovery, I couldn’t be able to be 100 percent for this fight,” Silva said. “I’m a professional, I’d never fight against Mirko or anyone else not being prepared. But what astonished me is that this Croatian, this Mirko Cro Cop guy, called me the best in the world, a legend in front of me, but behind the computer he’s talking a bunch of crap.
“What kind of man are you to say this crap online and not to my face? Are you only a man in front of the computer, p---y? Who do you think you’re talking to? Don’t worry. It won’t be now, but you’ll get what is yours. I know really well how to catch you. I know you’re afraid of me, coward.”
Not one to mince his words, Wanderlei Silva revealed that it would have been of great financial benefit for him to ignore his injuries and go ahead with the fight. An alleged $1 million purse was guaranteed for the 40-year-old legend whether he fought for 30 seconds or the entirety of the fight.
"I was offered a large amount of money, I was offered a million dollars,” Silva said. “I could go in there and see what happens. If I fought 30 seconds or a minute, I’d get my prize the same way. But I’m a professional, straightaway, and I’d never do this not being 100 percent to fight. Everybody knows I’m coming off a serious injury."
“I’m training well and training to be back to my old shape, the real ‘Axe Murderer’. I won’t fight just to fight, I’m fighting to win. Silva is back. Wait for it."
Ever the professional, Silva opted to pull out of the fight and focus on being 100% fit and ready for his comeback. This makes sense, as the pair's first fight ended in a draw back in 2002, before Silva lost to Cro Cop via brutal head-kick knockout in the #PRIDE 2006 Heavyweight Grand Prix semifinal.
It's only logical that Silva would seek to get even in their trilogy fight. Especially since Cro Cop looks to be in peak physical condition.
Hopefully we will see these two MMA legends face off against one another for their long awaited trilogy fight in the near future. Meanwhile, the Rizin FF Grand Prix quarterfinals are scheduled to take place on December 29 in Saitama, Japan.
The remaining quarter-final bouts are Shane Carwin vs. Amir Aliakbari, Baruto vs. Tsuyoshi Kosaka and Valentin Moldavsky vs. Szymon Bajor with the semifinals scheduled to take place December 31.