Wanderlei “The Axe Murderer” Silva understands how intense the competition can get after being 1-2 since his UFC return in December of 2007. Silva has fought top notch fighters including Chuck “Iceman” Liddell, Keith “The Dean of Mean” Jardine and his most recent bout to Quinton “Rampage” Jackson. Although his only win came against Keith Jardine at UFC 84, Silva still believes he is “going to have a great future” in the UFC.
His upcoming main event fight will be a catch-weight of 195 pounds. Silva will go up against former UFC middleweight champion Rich “Ace” Franklin at UFC 99. The event is scheduled to take place on June 13, 2009 at the Lanxess Arena in Cologne, Germany. The following is a snip from Wanderlei Silva himself:
“I spoke to Dana (to) open a new division for 195. I think it’s great, because it’s good for guys like me. I’m going to push for the idea. (A) new champ every time is good…I think it’s a very, very good match (against Rich Franklin), because he likes the stand-up, he likes the action, and he’s an exciting fighter…he’s my friend, he’s a nice guy. I respect him a lot. It’s a different situation because it’s better when you fight with the guys you don’t like. But it’s a job, and it’s a great idea for the UFC, and I know me and him are going to give a great show…of course, you need to win, and you live with your results. But I like the emotion; I fight with a lot of my heart. I love the crowd, and every time I go into the Octagon, like the last time, I fight Rampage (Jackson)– he’s like a legend here. He’s a great fighter, he’s an American, and the crowd have more for me. It’s a lot of emotion. It’s priceless, every fight I’m gonna fight is sold out one month or two months before. My fans know I give my best every time. My fans stay with me every time, and every time, I’m going to give my best…I think this is one reason for I lose my last fight (against Quinton Jackson), because…it’s a very nervous fight, because I don’t touch him, he don’t touch me…He give me one jab, I give him one kick, and it’s very nervous. My corner talked to me, it’s one minute to finish the round; I’m thinking, three minutes, we no have action, we don’t have nothing. And the public is starting to boo. The guy not going to come in–I come in. I open my guard, and he got me…But I’m not going to change my style…I love to give the show and every time I fight, I’m going to give my best. I’m going to cut my faults…to give the victory to my fans…The UFC gave me a good choice in a hard opponent again, because here, you have no easy fights…First Chuck (Liddell), after (Keith) Jardine, and now, (Rich) Franklin; just tough guys. But I love it, because I love to fight with the best guys. I need to know my limit, and where it’s possible that I’m going. I give the time to give a lot of shows. I know I’m going to have a great future.”