Wanderlei 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.”