Names Wanderlei Silva 2004 Fighter of the Year

By Staff Dec 23, 2004
LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- Dec. 23 -- has selected PRIDE middleweight champion Wanderlei Silva as its 2004 Fighter of the Year. Silva went unbeaten in three fights in 2004, winning each by knockout.

After careful consideration, Fighter of the Year balloting was narrowed down to Silva, BJ Penn and Yves Edwards. Silva edged Penn four votes three among the Sherdog staff.

"It’s a big honor for me to be recognized by this American website, which is one of the biggest and most respected MMA communities in the world," Silva said in an exclusive interview with that will be published on Monday. "So, it’s a really good thing."

In February, Silva needed just 69 seconds to stop Japanese Ikuhisa Minowa. Six months later, Silva faced former King of Pancrase and UFC veteran, Yuki Kondo. Again, the end came quickly; Silva battered Kondo until the veteran was viciously dropped to the canvas 2:46 of the first round. The high-water mark for Silva came on Halloween, when the Brazilian defended his middleweight belt against number-one contender Quinton Jackson. It was by far his toughest contest of the year, but Silva overcame early adversity to score a brutal knockout 3:26 of round two.

Silva, the top-ranked 205-pound fighter in the world, faces one more contest before year's end, as he takes on popular Japanese fighter Kazushi Sakuraba in Tokyo. Silva is unbeaten in three previous contests versus Sakuraba.

With an overall record of 27-3-1 (21 KO), Silva is one of the most accomplished mixed martial artists in the sport. He has not lost a bout since April 2000, going 16-0-1 (14) in that span.
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