Nick name: The Axe Murderer
MMA Record: 32-8-1
UFC Record: 2-3
Fighting Style: Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
Born in Curitiba, Brazil, Wanderlei Silva started training at the age of 13 because he wanted to learn how to defend himself. He learned Muay Thai from the famous Chute Boxe Academy in Brazil and eventually earned a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu from Carlinhos Gracie.
His professional career started in Vale Tudo (anything goes) competitions in Brazil, where Silva had an impressive 7-1 record. It was then that he started to get noticed by the UFC and he made his debut at UFC 8 ‘Ultimate Brazil’, where he suffered a loss to Vitor Belfort only 44 seconds into round one. The loss was considered his worst showing to date.
After a win and a title loss decision to then champ Tito Ortiz, Silva left to fight in Japan for Pride Fighting Championship. He would go on to dominate Pride and have a 20-fight win streak, earning him a reputation as the killer Brazilian who destroyed many Japanese strikers.
He reined atop the middleweight division until Dan Henderson knocked him out with a huge left hook in Round 3 of a championship bout to take Silva’s belt. This knockout, as well as a brutal head kick KO from Mirko Cro Cop led to more talks about a mega fight with The Iceman Chuck Liddell, which would take place at UFC 79. And even though he eventually lost a decision to Liddell, he viciously knocked out Keith Jardine early in Round One.
The Axe Murderer has now moved to the United States with his wife and kids. He currently trains at Xtreme Coulture, which is Randy Coulture’s training center and home to many fighters, including Forrest Griffin. He’s currently training for his next match at UFC 92 against Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and has recently said that he plans to open his own Mixed Martial Arts School in January. The school will offer training camps for fighters as well as classes for the public.
–Written By TSR Contributor John Duke