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MY TATTOOS - WANDERLEI SILVA (story and photos by Brian O’Hara © MMA SPORTS®)
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Wanderlei Silva is one of the most beloved figures in MMA. Although he is widely recognized for his 33 victories, 23 via (T)KO, he is also known for his never ending love for those who support him. Sidelined for the rest of 2010 due to a knee injury, Silva has been taking advantage of the time off to be near his loved ones. MMA Sports Magazine recently caught up with Silva and his family at Huntington Ink. Tattoo Lounge inside the Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas. To celebrate a special occasion, the MMA star decided to get unique, yet suiting reminder of his devotion toward his wife and their marriage together.

“This is a picture of my wife,” said Silva referring to the existing tattoo on his forearm. “I wanted a tattoo of my girl; my wife.”

Silva came to Huntington’s shop to add lettering below the mural of his wife in order to celebrate his marriage that began a decade ago.

“We are going to complete ten years of marriage,” Silva said.

Like most of his tattoos, the work symbolizes a deep and humble side of the otherwise ferocious fighter.

“I picked out the words at the studio. Translated it means, ‘The love must be strong.’ I’m giving that present to her from me. The love in the relationship will be stronger.”

Not surprisingly, Silva’s wife deeply appreciated the gesture that will last a lifetime.

“She loves it, of course!”

To assure the work was done with a proper measure of perfection, Huntington flew Steve Soto into Las Vegas to lay the ink. Based out of the Los Angeles area – Orange, California, Soto is one of today’s top tattoo artists.

“He is an amazing artist. I want more tattoos to show my life story.”

Silva said getting the tattoo didn’t hurt. The painless process may have been due to Soto’s professional touch; however Silva had another take on the situation that may be as plausible.

“No (it didn’t hurt). I am fighter, remember?”

Silva’s family, as well as his fans will be excited to see his return inside the octagon likely some time in 2011. The outstanding Brazilian has been a fan favorite for many years, and will forever be one of the most prominent figures in the sport.

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