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By Mike Denny for MMA Sports. Photo by Josh Hedges, courtesy of Zuffa, LLC.

Wanderlei Silva is one of the most exciting fighters in Mixed Martial Arts. “The Axe Murderer” is well known for his aggressive fighting style with Knockout wins over Quinton Jackson, Kazushi Sakuraba and a recent 36 second Knockout over Keith Jardine. Silva’s MMA resume is long and very impressive. One thing is for sure when that door closes behind’s going to be an exciting fight. MMA Sports caught up with Wanderlei Silva for the current issue of MMA Sports magazine.

Mike: First off thank you for taking the time for this interview, how’s everything going?
Silva: Great.

Mike: How did you get started in MMA?
Silva: I got started in Muay Thai at age 13. My first professional fight was at age 20.

Mike: You are a true legend in this sport and have over 40 fights to your far what has been the most memorable moment in your MMA career?
Silva: My first fight with Sakuraba and both fights with Rampage Jackson.

Mike: And also who has been your toughest opponent to date?
Silva: Jackson.

Mike: What has been the biggest difference between fighting in Pride and fighting in the UFC?
Silva: The cage is the biggest difference. There is a more aggressive style in the UFC.

Mike: You are coming off of a very impressive win against Keith Jardine…could you give us your thoughts on the fight?
Silva: I had a very good strategy for that fight. I watched a lot of his fights and prepared for his kicks.

Mike: You also had a very good fight with Chuck Liddell at UFC 79, could you give us your thoughts on this fight as well?
Silva: It was a very hard fight; my first in the UFC in many, many years. I had just moved to Las Vegas. My conditioning is much better now.

Mike: It seems like everyone wants to see a rematch between you and Liddell, do you think this will happen, and if so what would you try to do differently?
Silva: I would like for it to happen sometime in 2009. It would be a great re-match. I would try to stay aggressive throughout the fight, like I was in Round 2 of the first fight.

Mike: I heard you trained with Forrest Griffin and helped prepare him for his fight with Jackson, would you be interested in facing Forrest if the chance came along?
Silva: Yes. He is my friend, but business is business and this is my job.

Mike: Speaking of training, where are you training now?
Silva: Xtreme Couture.

Mike: I have noticed you haven’t used the Clinch and knees that you used a lot in your past fights, have you not had the opportunity to do so? Or is it something you don’t want to use now?
Silva: Yes. I am training more on my knees. There weren’t many opportunities to use my knees in my last two fights.

Mike: Is there anyone you would like to face?
Silva: I want to fight for the title.

There are a couple of interesting match ups coming up in your division, and I wanted to get your thoughts on a couple of them.

Mike: Shogun vs Coleman II.
Silva: Great re-match. Everyone wants to see this match.

Mike: Machida vs Silva.
Silva: One of them will finally lose! (laughing)

Mike: With a lot of fighters moving around in weight lately (Anderson Silva, Brandon Vera, BJ Penn, etc) is there a chance we could ever see "the axe murderer" in another weight class?
Silva: Maybe at 185, but I want to be UFC Champion at 205 first.

Mike: And how did your nickname (Axe Murderer) come about?
Silva: The old matchmaker in the UFC gave me that nickname because of my aggressive style.

Ok. I am down to my signature Final 2 questions..haha

Mike: If you could play matchmaker for a day, and there were no organization or weight class restrictions...what is one fight as a fan that you would love to see?
Silva: Tyson Griffin v. BJ Penn. GSP v. Anderson Silva, and of course, Wanderlei v. Rampage!

Mike: If they were to make a movie about you…what would the name of the movie be, and who would get to play Wanderlei?
Silva: “The Hard Life,” starring The Rock.


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