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Fight Archives: Wanderlei Silva leaves opponent helpless with barrage of knees in Vale Tudo event

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The earlier, scarier days of “The Axe Murderer.”

Wanderlei Silva grins from ear to ear after laying a beating on Todd Medina at Meca Vale Tudo 2 in 2000.
Wanderlei Silva grins from ear to ear after laying a beating on Todd Medina at Meca Vale Tudo 2 in 2000.

A few weeks ago, UFC veteran and ex-Strikeforce champ Josh Thomson spoke about his 2015 fight with Tony Ferguson and how it “changed” both his life and career. It was a sobering revelation about the crude and barbarous realities of prizefighting, which are usually concealed by the glitz and romanticism of potential superstardom.

I was never thrown in at the deep end like that, but I figure that it must be a similar experience when you fought Wanderlei Silva back in the day. Especially during his peak as “The Axe Murderer,” you likely went home with a concussion, at best and a soul filled with trauma, at worst. Either way, it’s a beating that’ll stick to you forever.

Just take a look at his Meca Vale Tudo fight with Todd “El Tiburon” Medina in 2000. All Silva needed was 39 seconds to get the job done. He threw a high kick, followed up with half a one-two, got the Thai clinch, and went to town with crippling knee strikes.

To say you went out on your shield is one thing. But to be in a one-sided thrashing where you’re rendered helpless, vulnerable, and susceptible to terrifying damage… yeesh.