Anderson Criticizes Wanderlei’s Move to 185

By Marcelo Alonso Apr 10, 2009
They have the same surname, grew up in the same Brazilian city and trained together for years at Chute Boxe. But things have changed, and destiny has put Wanderlei Silva and Anderson Silva on different sides.

“I always helped Wanderlei in training,” Anderson explained in a November 2007 interview with Tatame magazine. “We were really close.”

Anderson eventually left Chute Boxe, though, and in the Tatame interview he said that the team’s coach, Rudimar Fedrigo, forbid him from fighting in Pride, where Wanderlei was a champion.

“Wanderlei didn’t say anything to help me,” Anderson said. “He even knew that I had four children to raise. If it were not for ‘Minotauro’ putting pressure and bringing me to Pride, I would certainly be retired.”

At UFC 79 in December 2007, however, Anderson couldn’t hide his support for Wanderlei against Chuck Liddell. After the fight, he visited Wanderlei’s locker room with Lyoto Machida to congratulate him on a gutsy performance.

Marcelo Alonso/

The Silvas in friendlier times.
“I’m free now, whenever you want to train,” said Wanderlei, who had also left Chute Boxe by then and was happy to have the support of Anderson and Machida.

But now the relationship has soured again. Fifteen months after they shook hands in the locker room, Anderson learned that Wanderlei is on his way to the UFC middleweight division, where Anderson is king.

In an interview with the popular Brazilian TV program Sensei Sportv that will air Saturday, Anderson said he doesn’t have any problem fighting his former training partner.

“How much do you weigh? So why are you going to get yourself in trouble?” Anderson asked of Wanderlei.

Anderson has his own answer to the question: He called Wanderlei’s move to 185 “pretentious.”

Asked to name five opponents that he considered ready to face him for a title shot, Anderson didn’t include Wanderlei or Wanderlei’s new training partner, Demian Maia. In fact, he had a message for Maia too: “Saying that you will beat me up or submit me is very easy, but there have been people trying to do that for some time and are not reaching their goal, Demian.”

Anderson also confirmed during the Sensei Sportv interview that he plans on more fights as a light heavyweight. He dismissed the possibility of fighting Machida, whom he considers a close friend and the best fighter in the weight division.

Chute Boxe circa 2000. Photo by Marcelo Alonso/

From left to right: Murilo “Ninja” Rua, Wanderlei Silva, Master Rudimar Fedrigo, Assuerio Silva, Rafael Cordeiro, Anderson Silva and Jose “Pele” Landi-Jons.
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