Wanderlei Silva, an almost 20 year veteran of MMA, announced his retirement from the sport today in a video on his official YouTube channel.
The former PRIDE champion blasted his UFC bosses in the video, saying: “They took away my desire to fight. I can’t keep being treated this way.”
Silva had been at odds with the UFC in recent months. A scandal developed regarding a random drug test which Silva essentially ran away from. He described feeling pressured to fight while injured in the film as well, and also evinced his frustration with what he regarded unfair treatment from UFC to former bantamweight champion Renan Barao.
It’s noteworthy that Silva entitled the video “Not a Goodbye,” and mentions how change is possible.
“We wrote an amazing story together,” Silva says in a tearful goodbye to his fans towards the video’s conclusion. “Keep giving us your support, because you are the only motivation to keep fighting. But the wheels keep turning and tomorrow everything can change.”
So, is this really the end of the man we call “The Axe Murderer?” You can watch the video here and judge for yourself:
For now, we’ll take him for his word.
Silva’s career spanned the bare-knuckle days of vale tudo in his native Brazil all the way to today’s UFC-dominated MMA scene. His career ends with a 35-12-1 record, with one no-contest.