Yesterday we learned that the moderately-anticipated bout between TUF Brasil coaches Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva was off, and that Sonnen would instead face Vitor Belfort at UFC 175. Last night we learned from Sonnen the circumstances surrounding the sudden exodus of “The Axe Murderer“. Now where left with just questions, not the least of which is, “WANDERLEI SILVA, WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!”
Before we get worked up over the floundering career of the PRIDE FC and UFC legend, let’s revisit Sonnen’s exact words on what happened when Nevada State Athletic Commission officials showed up at Silva’s gym on a quest for a urine sample.
“(Silva) has operated his entire career under suspicion that he has been using performance enhancing drugs,” Sonnen said. “Now, we don’t have to speculate. His clean record came to a screeching halt when he not only failed his drug test, he refused to take the test.
“In the eyes of the commission, that is equal to a failure. They came to his gym and he literally ran out a side door. They were yelling his name.”
Throughout his time in the ring and cage, Silva has always been somewhat superhuman, and no more so than when he was ruling the roost in Japan – a place where the use of performance-enhancing drugs are to fighters what Halloween candy is to trick-or-treaters. Of course, never once did Silva piss hot when he fought in the States, so allegations of cheating would only be speculation. That is…
…Until the athletic commission came a-knockin’, and he fled like a thief in the night.
Few fighters as fierce and accomplished have attained the same level of affection from fans, and yet here we are, in the tail end of a long career in combat sports, and Silva is besmirching his own image with drug testing shenanigans. The Brazilian is a beloved fighter who, with his fists, knees and unbridled aggression, blazed a trail across promotions and for a long time encapsulated what it meant to be a beast in a fight. And now this.
I guess the answer to the question as to what Wanderlei Silva is doing is that he’s turning a legendary career into a punchline.
And that’s sad.