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Wanderlei Silva: “After years of fighting, my body made me stop this time”

Wanderlei SilvaWanderlei Silva today spoke to Fighters Only about being forced to withdraw from his UFC 116 matchup with Yoshihiro Akiyama, revealing that he planned to fight with a torn knee until finally being forced out of the bout after suffering three broken ribs:

“Two weeks ago I felt pain in my knee while I was training wrestling. I had an MRI of my knee and three doctors told me my knee was torn. I took medicine to help with the pain, and although my knee felt loose, I said ‘no, this date is very important to me’ and I continued training.

I was gonna fight no matter what. Last Friday, during sparring, I injured my rib. It was very painful and the next day I had an x-ray and an MRI. I discovered I had three broken ribs.

After years of fighting, my body made me stop this time. This is a very, very, very hard moment for me.  This is my livelihood, my job and I already put in a lot of time and effort into this fight. You cannot imagine how much I wanted to fight on this card. It was my birthday, I had friends and family from Brazil and around the world coming to see me and now I cannot fight.

I apologize to my opponent. I hope that I can fight with you in the future. … Now, I know that I need to have surgery on my knee.  I have no option.  I am going to be 100% and will fight many more years.”

It is not yet known when Silva will be able to return to the Octagon, while Akiyama will remain on the UFC 116 fight card against Chris Leben.

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