Why, Wanderlei? Why?!
Everyone's favorite mixed martial artist, Wanderlei "The Axe Murderer" Silva, recently announced his plans to return to action in 2013 and compete in the UFC's light heavyweight division.
Let's get one thing out of the way early: Chael Sonnen is a grade-A nutjob, but he speaks the truth to a degree. Sure, his mouth gets out of control and breaks its leash from time to time (OK, all the time), but when he talks about Wanderlei Silva, he is pretty accurate.
Silva is past his prime. He is old, and he is not a contender in any division at this stage in his career.
Frankly, Silva has not been a contender since coming into the UFC in December 2007.
Since his debut loss to Chuck Liddell, "The Axe Murderer" is an abysmal 3-4 inside the Octagon, and his wins have been over Keith Jardine (a perfect matchup for him), Michael Bisping (in a hotly contested decision) and Cung Le (we knew somebody was going down).
He has been brutally knocked out in two of his losses, and he has been dropped and stunned in his wins. Put plainly, our pal Wandy just can't take a punch anymore.
Moving to light heavyweight is going to exaggerate this problem, and I fear for Silva's safety against the top 205-pounders of today.
Vitor Belfort makes sense for a first fight at light heavyweight, but that is a terrible, terrible matchup for Wandy. Vitor is fast, he is strong and he will undoubtedly leave Silva face down on the canvas inside the first round.
Look, guys don't hit less hard as they get bigger and heavier. That's just physics. Wanderlei's chin is awful at middleweight, and it will be exposed even worse at light heavyweight.
Unfortunately for him, he will never realize this, and he will not care. Silva just wants to brawl, and he wants to put on good fights for his fans and supporters.
God bless him for that, but this mentality is just not the game he needs to be playing at this stage in his career. Sure it's fun for us, but is it worth it?
His mental health is on life support as it is at middleweight, and moving up to light heavyweight will be like removing the feeding tube.
Wandy, we love you, and we always will, but understand what you're doing and take your health into consideration.
Nobody wants to see you get hurt.