Spring is in the air, and if you think you have what it takes Wanderlei Silva would love for you to join Wand FC.
Brad Tavares has picked up three consecutive victories since suffering his first loss to Aaron Simpson in 2011.
So, who does The Ultimate Fighter alum believe he should face next? None other than Wanderlei Silva.
Tavares made it known immediately after Silva’s win over Brian Stann earlier this month that he feels deserving of stepping inside the Octagon with “The Axe Murderer.” And, during an interview with Bleacher Report, he reiterated those remarks.
“I want to fight Wanderlei Silva. I think the fight with Wanderlei makes a lot of sense and it would be awesome stylistically. I’ve been coming up the ranks and getting to fight someone I looked up to for so long. It is the fight I really want and I hope I get my wish. It would be a dreamc ome true to fight that guy.”
Tavares (10-1) was defeated on TUF by Court McGee, who went on to claim the title. He stepped in as a replacement for Jason “Mayhem” Miller to meet Simpson and lost via decision.
Of Tavares’ 10 wins, four have come by knockout and two are submission triumphs. Silva, of course, owns 25 career KO victories in his career.
“It would be a match up where an MMA legend is facing an up-and-comer trying to breakthrough,” Tavares added. “He lives in Vegas. I train in Vegas, and there is an event this summer at UFC 162 with a lot of middleweights already on the card. Let’s make the fight with Wanderlei Silva happen.”
Silva has hinted at a desire to remain at 205 pounds, but he could always be pushed to cut some weight or compete at 195 pounds.
Seeing them together, you wouldn’t think Jon Anik and Wanderlei Silva have much in common.
Anik, who called Silva’s most recent victory over Brian Stann, recently talked with Fighters.com about “The Axe Murderer” and shared a little insight into their relationship.
There are few individuals in the world that I have as much respect for as I do for Brian Stann, and I got to ride in the van with Wanderlei to airport and we got to talk for a good hour. He is just the real article, man. That’s as genuine a guy as I have ever come across. He went out of his way to ask me about my daughter, and to compliment me on some of the broadcast stuff we have been doing, and here he is less than 24 hours away from a huge moment and he is deflecting focus and praise to me. He is a stud of a human being, and I was just happy he was able to have that moment and prolong one of the best careers this sport has ever seen.
Silva returned to Japan for the first time in several years earlier this month, engaging in an epic slugfest with Stann. He was awarded a second round TKO victory, and appears set to continue fighting.
Anik is the play-by-play man for FX and FUEL TV cards for the UFC. His style is different from Mike Goldberg’s, and I think that’s good for all the parties involved.
At 36 years old and 49 fights deep in his career, Wanderlei Silva’s time in The UFC is limited, but that won’t be stopping Silva for the foreseeable future. Silva doesn’t give an exact time he’ll hang up the gloves, but he is aware he’s in the twilight of his career.
Wanderlei Silva is deservingly very proud of his KO win over Brian Stann, and he even goes so far as to say it was on of The UFC’s best fights ever.
Tom Watson, who trains with Brian Stann and is a former champion in England, had some interesting words for Wanderlei Silva following Silva’s win over Stann this past weekend.
— Tom Kong Watson (@TomKongWatson) March 3, 2013
Watson (16-5) recently picked up his first UFC victory, topping Stanislav Nedkov. He is 1-1 since joining the promotion from BAMMA last year.
Honestly, Silva has heard all of this before, and Watson isn’t likely to generate much of a response from “The Axe Murderer.” But, if a catch-weight bout was ever presented to him, you have to think the Brazilian wouldn’t mind throwing down with “Kong.”
Wanderlei Silva: After an amazing resurgent performance against Brian Stan, Silva is due for another big name opponent. The entire night captured the nostalgic feelings of PRIDE so why not continue those feelings and match up Silva with Dan Henderson? Henderson is coming off a loss to Lyoto Machida and is no longer in the title picture at 205. We’ve seen two great matches in PRIDE and a third matchup between the two veterans could be a perfect headliner for the next UFC card in Japan.
Mark Hunt: The former PRIDE star is now on a 4-fight win streak in the shallowest division in MMA. He has gone from a possible cut to a guy who is on the cusp of a title shot. Now, there are a few guys at the top of the division who would wipe the floor with him. But against Frank Mir who tends to wilt when faced with big power, he could get inside on Mir early and land big punches on him. If he could fight off Mir’s mediocre wrestling game, he might be able to put away the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt and get one step closer to a title fight.
Diego Sanchez: He didn’t look very impressive but he did get the win over Gomi. He is now due for a step up in competition. A top-25 guy like Jamie Varner could be an interesting style matchup for “The Dream.”
Yushin Okami: Okami continues to solider on in the welterweight division after defeating Hector Lombard. He’s not the most exciting fighter and I don’t see him getting himself in the discussion for a rematch with Anderson Silva soon. But, he can still serve the UFC well as a high level gatekeeper. Constantinos Philippou and Jacare Souza are two rising fighters in the UFC; Okami would be a good test for the winner of that bout which takes place in May in Brazil.
Rani Yahya: He keeps winning but it’s hard to be impressed with a featherweight who gasses hard in almost all of his bouts. Manny Gamburian needs a fight after dropping out of his bout with Chad Mendes. It would be an interesting matchup of striker vs. grappler and we might be able to see whether or not Yahya is for real.
Dong-Hyun Kim: John Hathaway is getting closer to a title shot and Dong-Hyun Kim is making his own case for a shot at St. Pierre’s belt. Putting the two together will show us whether or not John Hathaway can handle Kim, who has a similar smothering top-game as the champion.
What do you think fight fans? Get at me @samgenovese on Twitter.
Brian Stann didn’t have to stand and trade with Wanderlei Silva like he did Saturday night, but “The Axe Murderer” was very thankful that he did.
Silva and Stann engaged in an all-out-slugfest through the first five-plus minutes, but the Brazilian and former PRIDE champion was able to get the last big shot in, finishing Stann in the second round at UFC on FUEL TV 8.
“Brian Stann is a tough guy and a great opponent,” said Silva, during the post-fight show on FUEL TV. “I’m so happy to fight guys like him because this is the kind of fighting I love to do. Thank you Brian Stann for taking this fight and making it a great show for the fans.”
Silva was returning to Japan for the first time since 2006, as he became a cult icon fighting for PRIDE. The ovation given to him both during the entrance and after the fight were deafening by the Saitama Super Arena crowd.
“I’m so proud. Thanks Dana White. Thanks UFC for giving me this wonderful opportunity,” Silva said. “I’m proud to fight for you. My corner told me to go for a straight punch, and I’m glad to win in Japan.”
Wanderlei and Brain Stann react to the fight’s KO stoppage. Wanderlei is thrilled to pull off another win in Japan, and Stann knew what he was risking as soon as he agreed to fight Silva. Both men were given $50,000 for fight-of-the-night honors, and Silva was given an additional $50,000 for knock-out-of the-night award.
Wanderlei Silva returns to his old winning ways with a dashing KO of Brian Stann. This marks Wanderlei’s first bout at 205 since he lost to Rampage Jackson at UFC 92. This is also the first time Silva has returned to Japan since the UFC/Pride merger.