Any legitimate gym you step into will have a set of unwritten rules of engagement when it comes to sparring. You can go hard up to a certain limit, but it’s basically ‘try not to tear each other’s heads off or cause some broken noses and PTSD.’
Well, all of that apparently flies out the window when you’re training with Wanderlei Silva. You’ll definitely get some quality rounds in. But press a wrong button, whether intentionally or not, and you’ll be in a fight of your life before you even know it.
Former UFC champion Fabricio Werdum can relate. Here’s an old clip of the two decorated veterans reliving their Chute Boxe days at their master Rafael Cordeiro’s Kings MMA gym in Huntington Beach.
Then there’s this snippet from 2011 that’s made the rounds online for years, featuring Silva and Muay Thai coach Michael Costa. I’d go out on a limb and say Wandy wasn’t too pleased with the ax kick (at the 1:34 mark), and that caused him to go absolutely rogue.
Unfortunately, these gyms wars have already begun to take a toll on Silva through multiple concussion symptoms. With plans to donate his brain for CTE research, the 44-year-old has one piece of advice for trainers and young fighters out there:
If I could leave one tip for young fighters it’s not to get beat up every day. Whoever has young students, don’t let them take too many punches to the head, there’s a right time for a harder session, but it can’t be an everyday routine.