Wanderlei Silva Named To UFC® Hall Of Fame Class Of 2024

Today, the UFC® disclosed that the erstwhile PRIDE FC middleweight sovereign, Wanderlei Silva, is slated for induction into the 2024 cohort of the UFC Hall of Fame, hailed as a Pioneer. The ceremonial festivities, earmarked for this summer in the dazzling lights of Las Vegas, will be broadcasted with exclusivity on the digital waves of UFC FIGHT PASS®.

In the words of UFC’s head honcho, Dana White, “Wanderlei Silva stands as a cornerstone in the edifice of MMA.” He painted Silva as a relentless warrior whose legacy is etched in the annals of combat lore through his unforgettable skirmishes. Legends like Mirko Cro Crop, Chuck Liddell, Dan Henderson, and Brian Stann have all clashed with Silva in bouts that redefined the word ‘warfare’. His early days in PRIDE catapulted him to stardom, widening the sport’s appeal far and wide, making his Hall of Fame induction a moment of sheer honor.

Silva’s enshrinement into the Pioneer Era Wing of the Hall of Fame, as its 19th illustrious member, celebrates the trailblazers who set the stage before the unified rules came into play on November 17, 2000. These are the gladiators who either crossed the age of 35 or hung up their gloves for at least a year.

Boasting a commendable ledger from his 22-year stint in the professional MMA arena, Silva’s tally reads 35-14-1 Draw / 1 NC (27-11-1-1 in the UFC / PRIDE), with notable triumphs over luminaries and UFC Hall of Famers such as Kazushi Sakuraba, Michael Bisping, and Dan Henderson. Other notable victories include wins over Guy Mezger, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Yuki Kondo, Eugene Jackson, and Brian Stann.

Silva’s odyssey in the combat world commenced on November 1, 1996, at Brazilian Vale Tudo 6, where he emerged victorious via a first-round knockout. His journey through Vale Tudo, accruing a 5-1 record, served as a prelude to his UFC odyssey.

Making his mark in the UFC at the ULTIMATE BRAZIL event in Sao Paulo on October 16, 1998, Silva faced off against Vitor Belfort, succumbing to punches merely 44 seconds into the bout. Undeterred, Silva ventured back to Vale Tudo, securing two victories before making a triumphant return to the Octagon®, clinching a win against Tony Petarra at UFC® 20.

Silva’s journey then veered towards PRIDE FC, where he etched his name in history by securing the middleweight championship and embarking on the longest title reign in PRIDE history, a testament to his indomitable spirit. His exploits in the PRIDE FC Middleweight Grand Prix further cemented his legacy, making him the inaugural athlete to clinch both a PRIDE Championship and Grand Prix title.

A return to the UFC in 2007 saw Silva engage in a memorable duel with Chuck Liddell at UFC® 79, a fight that garnered widespread acclaim and solidified Silva’s status as a fan favorite. His ensuing years in the UFC were marked by significant victories, culminating in a knockout win against Brian Stann in 2013, which would be his UFC swansong.

As Silva steps into the hallowed halls of the UFC Hall of Fame, he carries with him a storied career that has left an indelible mark on the world of mixed martial arts.

UFC:

  • Most knockouts in Zuffa history (PRIDE / UFC / WEC / Strikeforce) – 19
  • Most knockdowns in Zuffa history (PRIDE / UFC / WEC / Strikeforce) – 27

PRIDE:

  • Most wins in PRIDE history – 22
  • Most knockouts in PRIDE history – 15
  • Most knockdowns in PRIDE history – 18
  • Most significant strikes in PRIDE history – 720
  • Longest undefeated fight streak in PRIDE history – 20 (18-0-1, 1 NC)
  • Longest title reign in PRIDE history as middleweight champion – 1,939 days
  • Tied for most knockouts by soccer kicks/stomps in PRIDE history – 4

Away from the frenzied clashes within the Octagon, Silva has been lavished with a plethora of accolades throughout his illustrious career. The year 2004 saw him clinching the Knockout of the Decade award from Sports Illustrated, thanks to his stunning takedown of Quinton Jackson at PRIDE 28. Fast forward to 2008, and he bagged the Fight of the Year title for his electrifying clash with UFC legend Chuck Liddell at UFC 79, not to mention scooping the Knockout of the Year award for laying out Keith Jardine at UFC 84, all courtesy of the Fighters Only World MMA Awards. Come 2020, and Silva’s life journey was encapsulated in “Sem Coleira”, a Portuguese biography that hit the shelves, narrating his trials and triumphs.

Hailing from the vibrant streets of Curitiba, Brazil, Silva embarked on his martial arts odyssey, honing his skills in Muay Thai and kickboxing upon his initiation into the Chute Boxe Academy. His stint in the Brazilian army saw him expanding his repertoire to include Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Presently, he resides in Curitiba, surrounded by the warmth of his family. For those itching to dive into Silva’s trove of UFC FIGHT PASS highlights, direct your browsers to: https://ufcfightpass.com/playlist/20539