In Pride, Wanderlei was one of the most feared fighters out there. He is and was one of my all-time favorite fighters, as every fight he is almost always guaranteed to put on an exciting show.
Probably one of the most imtimidating fighters in the history of the sport, Wanderlei does indeed look like an "Axe Murderer" when he is about to fight. The picture definitely illustrates how he looked before a fight, and just ask any of Silva's victims if the caption is right or not.
From 2000 to 2004, Wanderlei was close to unbeatable. He had 17 fights altogether, and he only conceded one draw to Cro Cop. Otherwise, he won two decisions and fourteen TKO/KO's.
As I said in my last article, every fighter has a breaking point. Wanderlei's breaking point seemed to come when he lost a split decision against Mark Hunt. Two mediocre wins later, Silva lost once again at the hands of Ricardo Arona.
While Wanderlei avenged his loss in his next fight, it was far from a dominating performance, as it was a split decision.
Fujita was his last win for two years. He went on to lose to Cro Cop in the rematch by brutal KO to a headkick and lost to Dan Henderson in his next bout.
It was quite apparent that Silva was getting rusty when afterwards he lost to Chuck Liddell by UD.
Today, Silva has compiled a record of five losses and one win from his last three-and-a-half years of fighting, and some people are suggesting retirement.
I disagree, if for only the reason that whenever he fights, I know it's going to be super exciting. He still has something in him, and can produce a challenge to any of the young talents who think they have what it takes to be a force.
He certainly can hang with anybody in striking.