The real Wanderlei Silva no longer exists.
On May 24th this year, Silva literally ran from a surprise Nevada State Athletic Commission drug test. According to the test collector Jim Guernsey, he casually followed Silva around his gym until he lost sight of Wanderlei near an exit door. Silva’s attorney said “[Wanderlei] was surprised,” because it was the first time in his career someone had shown up at his gym to test him. And according to Silva, he bolted because he had been taking diuretics and anti-inflammatories to minimize the swelling of a wrist injury. He made his admissions at a hearing before the NSAC on June 18th.
On June 13th, in an interview with Tatame in Brazil, Wanderlei said he was, “totally clean and cleared to fight as soon as possible.”
Cleared to fight, you say?
“Life is great. I’m training well,” he said. “I did a test on my own in Brazil, on June 6, to see if the corticoid and the diuretic were already out of my body. I also tested my testosterone levels. At my age, the level is 180, and I’m at 160. I’m totally clean and cleared to fight as soon as possible. I’m just waiting for the UFC to tell me a date and local. In two months, I will be ready to fight.”
Of course, that is pure lunacy. Because the NSAC investigation was ongoing. And two days ago, the Commission filed a complaint against him, seeking damages and a possible suspension. According to MMA Junkie, the Complaint defines him as an “unarmed combatant” who was subject to the NSAC’s rules when he eluded Guernsey.
But just when it looked like some government intervention might slow Silva down, he has rolled his wrists and shrimped further down the rabbit hole, asking for a faux title fight against Dan Henderson.
Original source, not in English: “I want to be back soon for my 50th fight. I would like it to be in a special event. It’s not new that I would like to face Belfort or Sonnen, but another guy that I would like to fight is Dan Henderson, and this fight is quite possible.” He continued, “We’re tied 1-1 and a rubber match would be cool. In my last fight at PRIDE, I lost my belt and never had the chance to rematch. If this fight happens now, I would even ask him to take the belt and the winner would keep it [laughs].”
Wanderlei would like the faux title fight to take place in Brazil, perhaps at a soccer stadium in his home town of Curitiba.
Despite the strange timing and terms of the callout, Henderson is “good with it.”
— Dan Henderson (@danhendo) August 6, 2014
As fun as that sounds in theory, the fight is impossible in a sense. Because the real Wanderlei doesn’t exist anymore. At some point during the last five years, he crawled into a chrysalis and came out a Commission-dodging butterfly who performs his own drug tests and books imaginary fights as though a serious investigation will evaporate if he doesn’t look it in the eye.
Yes, in the words of lonely troubadour Del Shannon,
My Wan Wan Wan Wan Wander
Lei, Lei Lei Lei Lei Lei Lei
He ran way.
But we aren’t necessarily a-walkin’ in the rain, tears fallin’ from the pain. Because eccentric Wanderlei is a nice interruption from reports of domestic violence and animal abuse. And after giving us some of the best memories in the history of the sport, we should probably just let him assume whatever persona he wants. Let’s leave the dirty work for the Commission, and hope that our little runaway is right, and we get to see some more magic at the end of his perplexing career.