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Dana White: Wanderlei Silva Has To Win To Stay In The UFC

Wanderlei SilvaAs the UFC continues to trim its roster down, there is one fighter who I never imagined they would consider cutting—Wanderlei Silva. Wanderlei is easily one of the most, if not the most, exciting fighters to ever compete in this sport. Everything from his intimidating staredown to his ultra-aggressive Muay Thai style screams ‘I’m coming to knock you out,’ and he’s done it more often than not. The problem is Wanderlei hasn’t won in awhile. His last three fights resulted in losses, but not against opponents he should be ashamed of—Mirko ‘Cro Cop’, Dan Henderson and Chuck Liddell.

It’s no secret Wanderlei needs a win and needs one badly. He will face Keith Jardine at UFC 84 in what will be a pivotal moment in his career. Yesterday, I said a second consecutive loss in the UFC for Silva would likely result in a drop down to middleweight in lieu of being cut from the organization.

However, according to Dana White, I may be wrong. Sam Caplan of Five Oz. passed along an audio clip from the UFC 84 press conference with White stating that Wanderlei needs to win to stay in the UFC.

Wanderlei Silva obviously though has to get a win. I mean, this guy has to win some fights here to stay in the UFC.

This is a far cry from statements White made to Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports in a recent article.

[Silva] just wants to be able to blow your mind every time he fights. That’s how he is. I just wish I had 250 other guys like him. If I did, this sport would be so far in front of everything else, it would never get caught.

So which one is it Dana? Would a loss mean a quick exit of ‘The Axe Murderer’ from the UFC?

I hope not. Presently, all of Silva’s challenges remain in the UFC. I really can’t think of any compelling matchups for Wanderlei outside of the organization. A move down to middleweight would be more appropriate than letting him go, and I would still expect that to be the case, but you never know.

Ultimately, it would come down to money. Would Silva be willing to renegotiate a deal? Or would he follow in Cro Cop’s footsteps and trek back to Japan for a couple of confidence boosting wins?

Hopefully those questions won’t have to be asked. All Wanderlei has to do is win.

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