After 22 years in MMA, Wanderlei Silva has announced his retirement from the sport.
But it might not be from fighting entirely. The former PRIDE champion revealed the news on MMA Fighting’s Trocacao Franca podcast, but added he wants to try his hand boxing.
“We’re officially retired from MMA,” Silva said.
“I think these new boxing events are interesting. It would be interesting, though I’ve never had a boxing fight before. My boxing is very good, I’ve trained with some really good guys, but I never fought. I’d like to have a boxing match at one of those good events against a good name.”
Silva began his MMA career in 1996.
He earned his first title at the International Vale Tudo Championship, capturing the light heavyweight title in 1999.
He then moved onto PRIDE where he became the middleweight champion. With the title, he also overcame fighters like Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Dan Henderson and Kazushi Sakuraba.
Then PRIDE closed in 2006, which is when Silva decided to go to the UFC.
There he recorded a 4-5 record with a notable win against Michael Bisping. He was defeated by Chuck Liddell and Jackson.
He had a four-year hiatus before heading to Bellator in 2016. He only fought twice and lost both to Chael Sonnen and Jackson for a second time.
Silva’s last win was in March 2013 when he knocked out Brian Stann at UFC.
But aside from a potential boxing match, he intended to coach his son, Thor.
“Only those who have sons know how it’s like watching them fight. This feeling is completely different, but it’s very exciting because we know what it’s like and everything that can happen in a fight,” Silva said.
“I know where he can go, I’ve been through it all, and I know that what really counts is hard work. You may be the son of [someone important] or have as much money as you have, but hard work and training is what counts in there, and thank God he has behaved like a professional already.”
“…There are many great promotions today like Bellator, RIZIN, and UFC, great promotions that give opportunity for the athlete to show their work and fight the best. We’ll see how his career progresses and the opportunities that will present themselves, and we’ll choose the best path.”