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UFC wants Silva vs. Belfort 2, Wanderlei doesn’t

wanderlei silva vs. rich franklinNobody would argue that Wanderlei Silva isn’t a gutsy fighter. Unfortunately his recent actions are giving UFC president Dana White second thoughts. Silva has turned down two fights including a rematch with Vitor Belfort. Instead, Silva wants a crack at Chris Leben but the boss isn’t interested.

Former PRIDE FC champion Wanderlei Silva has been on a long hiatus from fighting. UFC president Dana White is ready to change that. White wants a long awaited Wanderlei Silva vs. Vitor Belfort rematch at UFC 130. The middleweight showdown would compliment July’s Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard rematch. The only thing preventing this star studded fight is Wanderlei who is more interested in trying to chop down Chris Leben than his old foe.

This wouldn’t be such a big deal if Wanderlei Silva hasn’t already turned down a fight for UFC 130. Dana White has confirmed that Silva turned down his plans for a Wanderlei Silva vs. Brian Stann fight. Silva has now turned down two fights in a row and it appears that Dana White is starting to grow tired of the Axe Murderer.

“We asked him to take [a fight with Stann], and he turned it down,” White said. “He said, ‘I don’t like it because everybody likes this guy.’ That’s kind of a weird philosophy, but I’ll accept that. Wanderlei’s a warrior. He always goes out there. So we offered him the Vitor fight, and now he’s on Twitter lobbying to fight Chris Leben,” White said.

Yes, Wandy is a Twitter nut! Wanderlei tweets more on some days than the Kardashian girls. Wanderlei has indeed taken to Twitter in hopes of publicly pressuring the UFC into making a Leben vs. Wanderlei fight.

“I think with chris Leben I go have a tuff figth him is good opponent,he want and I want lets go figth,” tweeted Silva. Additionally, Silva retweeted numerous tweets from MMA fans who agreed with him and want the UFC to make the Silva vs. Leben fight. Dana White isn’t interested.

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White responded, “I don’t want him to fight Chris Leben, I want him to fight Vitor Belfort.”

I honestly believe that Wanderlei is looking at this from a business point of view more than anything else. At 34 years old with 45 tough fights under his belt, Silva probably only has one or two years of professional fighting left. He knows he isn’t beating Anderson Silva or Jon Jones so go with the money over chasing the title. Stann vs. Silva will only appeal to hardcore MMA fans and I don’t think anyone is rushing out to see Vitor fight after being knocked out by a kick to the face. Leben vs. Silva is the biggest money match here.

I have been an MMA fan for a long time and I can’t recall anyone ever bringing up a Wanderlei vs. Belfort rematch. Their first fight was over ten years ago, over in one round, and lasted less than a minute. If someone can explain the intrigue of a rematch there, well I’d love to listen.

I can’t understand White’s reluctance to make the fight. The only reasons I can think of are that a)Belfort has a big contract and needs a name opponent in order to make it pay off and b) Leben’s legal situation surrounding issues from last year could make White gun shy about booking him before his situation is completely cleared up. Otherwise I am with Wandy, I think Leben vs. Silva is a fun fight and a fight that fans would pay to see over the other proposed fights.

My gut feeling says that at the end of the day if White really wants Silva vs. Belfort II, it will happen.

Thanks to MMAJunkie.com for the tip!

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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