Wanderlei Silva (left) and Rafael Alejarra: M. Alonso | Sherdog.com
In this age of litigation, it’s become commonplace for tight personal and professional relationships to end in lawsuits. Unfortunately, the world of MMA may not be immune to this epidemic.
Last Sunday, Wanderlei Silva's official Twitter account stated that his former personal trainer and close friend, Rafael Alejarra, is suing the former Pride ace over a business matter. Silva's verified account displayed two messages to its followers concerning the situation.
“I got a citation from the labor court of law of Porto Alegre. Who might have filed a labor suit against me in Porto Alegre?” said Silva's Twitter account in Portuguese.
Stated Silva's Twitter in another post: “I only had a physical trainer who I fed, housed and gave a car plus $4000 a month, working or not. How people are, huh? It was him.”
Silva and Alejarra began their working relationship in November 2005 after being introduced by a mutual friend. It wasn’t long before Alejarra relocated from his hometown of Porto Alegre to Curitiba in order to devote more time to training “The Axe Murderer.”
When Silva left his longtime home of Chute Boxe Academy in 2007, Alejarra and his wife moved to Las Vegas with Silva and his family. There, the pair co-founded the Wand Fight Team MMA Gym, an academy which featured a number of Alejarra’s unique training devices and conditioning techniques. One such method gained notoriety after a YouTube video showed Silva training with his nostrils taped shut, breathing only through a snorkel.
In December 2009, following a pair of UFC losses to Rich Franklin and rival Quinton Jackson, Silva and Alejarra reportedly severed ties. Silva would resume full-time training with his former Chute Boxe coach Rafael Cordeiro, while Alejarra relocated once more, this time to San Diego, where he has worked with the likes of Strikeforce champion Cristiane "Cyborg" Santos and UFC middleweight contender Demian Maia.
Speaking with Sherdog.com a day after a seminar in Rio de Janeiro alongside Rogerio Camoes, the physical trainer of UFC middleweight king Anderson Silva and Strikeforce middleweight champion Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza, Alejarra declined to comment specifically on the statements made by Silva.
“I’d rather not talk publicly about that; this subject does not concern the fans or media. This is a professional and personal case that both parties believe are right, so there is nothing better than the law to judge who is right and who is wrong,” commented Alejarra.
“Once the subject is in the law’s hands, I don’t think it’s right for me to make public statements, giving my version and saying bad things about the other side, so this is the last time I talk about that for the press,” he finished.