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Contrary to his personality in the Octagon, when Beyond the Cage met with Wanderlei Silva at his gym, The Wand Fight Team Training & Conditioning Center in Las Vegas, to approve and sign the artwork, we found a man with a huge smile that touches the heart. Silva was so enamored with the artwork published by Beyond the Cage that he made sure he had enough pieces to give to his family and friends.
Nicknamed "The Axe Murderer", this Brazilian MMA fighter is known for his aggressive fighting style with the majority of his fights ending in knockout or referee stoppage due to strikes. Silva's aggressive style is rooted in street brawling, refined with elements of Muay Thai and kickboxing.
Silva began his training at the Chute Boxe Academy in his hometown of Curitiba, Brazil. Although he specializes in Muay Thai, he has also trained and received his black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Silva was originally given the nickname "Mad Dog" in Brazil because of his aggressive style and his pre-fight opponent "stare down". It wasn't until he won a 1999 IVC light heavyweight championship fight that he was given his current nickname of "The Axe Murderer."
Silva entered the Ultimate Fighting Championship on October 16, 1998, at UFC Brazil: Ultimate Brazil. After spending a majority of his career in Brazil, he moved to the United States in 2007 and he trained at Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas until opening his own gym. He holds notable wins over Guy Mezger, Dan Henderson, Quinton "Rampage" Jackson (twice), Keith Jardine, Michael Bisping and many others.
Silva's championships and accomplishments include IVC Light Heavyweight Champion, PRIDE Middleweight Championship 2001-2007, 2003 PRIDE Middleweight Grand Prix Tournament Winner, 2005 PRIDE Middleweight Grand Prix Semi-Finalist, 2006 PRIDE Openweight Grand Prix Semi-Finalist, Most Wins & Knockouts in PRIDE FC History (22 Wins 15 Knockouts), Sherdog 2004 Fighter of the Year, UFC Fight of the Night (twice) and Knockout of the Night, Fighters Only World MMA Awards Fight of the Year (2008), Knockout of the Year (2008), Gym of the Year (2010), Inside Fights 2008 Fight of the Year among others.