COLOGNE, Germany – Wanderlei Silva insists he doesn’t fear losing. He’s lost nine times in his illustrious mixed martial arts career and understands that if he keeps fighting the best men on the planet, he’ll likely lose again.
What he does fear, though, is hearing the same words from Ultimate Fighting Championship president Dana White that former light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell heard in April after a knockout loss to Mauricio “Shogun” Rua: “It’s over.”
White essentially retired Liddell, his close friend, after that fight against Rua at UFC 97 in Montreal, where Rua stopped Liddell in the first.
Silva, who will fight Rich Franklin at a catch weight of 195 pounds on Saturday in the main event of UFC 99 at Lanxess Arena, has – like Liddell – lost four of his past five.
He realizes it’s a possibility that White will give him his walking papers should Franklin separate him from his senses, as Quinton “Rampage” Jackson did at UFC 92.
“I love this sport,” Silva said, leaning forward in his chair to make a point. “Love it. It’s a part of me. God put me here to be a fighter. It’s what I live to do. I love giving the crowd the best fight every time. I don’t want to give this up, win or lose – not yet.”
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