On Friday, MMA icon Wanderlei Silva (pictured) unceremoniously announced his retirement from fighting via a YouTube video.
The slugger didn’t pull any punches on his way out, blasting the UFC for not showing him the proper respect and turning his legion of fans against him.
“I am stepping down from the ring. After today, Wanderlei Silva will not fight again,” Silva stated. “My career is over. Because I don’t have a stage to perform, where the athletes get the proper respect. For these reasons, I have had enough.
“They tried to turn my fans against me. My fans, who have followed me for 20 years, before this promotion even existed I was already fighting in Brazil. I have fought bare-knuckle and I helped building this sport. Everything you see today, I helped build with my sweat and blood.”
Silva was slated to face bitter rival Chael Sonnen at UFC 175. However, when the Nevada State Athletic Commission sprung a surprise drug test on him at his gym in Las Vegas, Silva bolted out the back door and never looked back.
As far as the NSAC is concerned, a skipped test is a failed test.
“The Axe Murderer” claimed the reason he didn’t oblige to the random drug exam was because it was accompanied with paperwork that he wasn’t prepared to sign without his attorney present, primarily because the documents were in English.
Silva later admitted he had taken diuretics and anti-inflammatories to treat a wrist injury.
UFC doctors prescribed Silva anti-inflammatory medication following his on-set brawl with Sonnen on “The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 3.” An X-ray in early May confirmed a fractured wrist. On his own accord, Silva then proceeded to seek out diuretics to minimize water retention.
Diuretics are commonly classified as a banned substance due to their use as a masking agent to prevent detection of other illegal substances.
Instead of going back-and-forth with the NSAC to clear his name and obtain a license, Silva has opted to call it a career. Plus, it was a battle he didn’t feel like fighting if the reward was to merely return to the UFC.
“I feel that I don’t have a dignified stage where the athletes are respected” Silva continued. “They are wearing down the athletes; they make them fight under any circumstances and any conditions. They use us to make rivers of money. They don’t respect the athletes, they don’t take care of the athletes, and they don’t pay the athletes.
“Enough is enough. They don’t respect us as athletes. They don’t respect us at all.”
Siva made his highly-anticipated return to the UFC after taking a seven year leave against Chuck Liddell in December 2007. After the unanimous decision defeat, the Brazilian won only half of his next eight bouts inside the Octagon.
Silva made his claim to fame for his epic battles in PRIDE FC where he was middleweight champion prior to rejoining the UFC.
The 38-year-old was last seen knocking out Brian Stann in March 2013.
Please click the media player below to watch Silva’s farewell speech: