Patient Wanderlei Still Wants Liddell

By Gleidson Venga Jul 24, 2007
Former PRIDE middleweight ace Wanderlei Silva (Pictures) is coming to America.

"I'm moving to the U.S., but I still don't know where I'll live. I'm in doubt between Las Vegas and Florida," Silva stated. "I'm going there to see a house … and after this I'll decide."

The Brazilian admits he doesn't even know where he will train, "I'm shooting in the dark, and I'm still thinking how I will train. I have to see the available gyms, where I'll train, and with who."

Wanderlei stated that this situation forced him to ask for a later date with Chuck Liddell (Pictures), but he lamented that he doesn't know when the showdown will take place.

"I would fight him in September," Silva explained, "But because of my move I asked to fight him later -- maybe at the end of this year -- or maybe not. I don't know. It depends on the UFC."

Regarding Liddell's recent statements that Silva has turned down the much-hyped contest, Silva commented, "I will not run away from him, not now, not ever. I respect him. He is a very good athlete, a tough guy, and that's why he was the UFC champion for such a long time. I want to fight him when I'm 100 percent ready, no excuses."

A frustrated Silva wondered aloud why there was such a rush after he was forced to wait so long for this fight in the first place.

"I waited on him for two years, and now he can't wait for me for two months?" said the former PRIDE FC 205 lb. champ. "That's OK. I'll be in USA now, preparing myself to fight him, but if he doesn't want to, or if this fight would be not interesting anymore, I'll fight against anybody, no problem. But this fight should really happen, because there are a lot of people waiting for this. I never ran away from him, or anybody else. I don't fear him or any other fighter.

"I'm going through changes, fixing my personal life, but I'm OK," the Brazilian said, "I'm very focused, training a lot and I'll be ready soon. I want to show all my potential, and give a great show, because this is what the fans expect from me. I hope to live up to their expectations."

Silva reveals that he was close to signing a contract with UFC, but now he doesn't know how the situation will unfold.

"My contract was close to being signed, I had it in my hands," Silva continued, "I would sign to fight Liddell, but if it doesn't happen I can wait for a while, because I have proposals from other promoters as well. There are a lot of good offers, with a lot of fights included, and very good purses. So I will wait to see if I will fight him. I'll wait for the name they give me, and if this is an opponent who brings me an audience, I'll fight him, without a doubt."

It is important to the man dubbed "The Axe Murderer" to fight the best the world has to offer. He has been on the big stage for so many years now, he feels it would be a step down to fight anyone who doesn't measure up to the caliber of competition he has been facing for most of his career.

"I want amazing fights; interesting battles, as it would be against Chuck. I want to compete for a good organization against a great opponent; meaning, a classic match. If it's not that classic match, I prefer to wait."

Having not stepped into the ring since being knocked out by Dan Henderson (Pictures) back in February; Silva is excited to resume his career in the States.

"I hope to fight again soon, so everyone can see me in action again, and to conquer new American fans, just like I did in Japan," declared Silva. "I'll live there, raise my son in the USA and hope that he'll have every opportunity to become a great fighter."

And if you see an "Axe Murderer" strolling on your block, "Watch out, who knows when Silva will be walking through your neighborhood (laughs)? … We'll meet in Florida or Las Vegas. A big hug to all of you, and God bless you all."
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