Tuesday, March 6, 2007

The Aftermath of Pride 33

By Eddie/Chute Boxe USA

Yes, Pride 33 was a night of upsets. The first was Antonio Rogerio Nogueira's 23 second knockout by Sokoudjou. Then it was Takanori Gomi tapping out to Nick Diaz's gogo plata submission choke.

There was something strange about Pride 33. Finally, it was the main event: Wanderlei Silva defending his middleweight title against Dan Henderson. Silva, being the bearer of the belt for 5 years, didn't expect to lose the title on this night. Henderson had done something he had never done before. He knocked out an opponent with his left hand.

Many fans noticed that Wanderlei lacked the intensity which he was so notorious for in the past. Even his staredown was almost "kind". After a few words with the Chute Boxe coaching staff, we learned the story behind the loss.

On the night before the fight, Wanderlei Silva was hospitalized from 12:00 AM to 4:00 AM due to a flu. He had trouble breathing as well as a diagnosed strep throat. Although calling off the fight might have been the wiser decision, Wanderlei's warrior sprit would never allow him to do so. Silva acknowledges the loss as a fair loss and completely credits the win to Henderson's excellent fighting skills.

However, we cannot deny that the 4 hour hospital trip at dawn did not affect his fight against Henderson. After all, Wanderlei is still human. However, it wasn't a total loss for Chute Boxe. Mauricio "Shogun" Rua knocked out Alistair Overeem once again. Because of Wanderlei's upset loss to Henderson, a new door has opened for the younger Chute Boxe fighter.

He now has an opportunity at the Pride middleweight division title. Shogun already swore to win back the title for Chute Boxe. From what he has shown us, we don't deny it. So what does Wanderlei's future hold for him? Silva already stated that he wishes to fight for 5 more years before retirement. How is he coping with his loss? From what we have seen, he's handling it just fine. He spent a few comfortable days in Los Angeles with his wife. He made a visit to the beach as well as a local night club.

Perhaps he is comforted by the thought that he would have won if he was at full health. Perhaps he is comforted by the fact that he has now allowed his younger comrade "Shogun" to take the belt. Or, perhaps he is comforted by the fact that no matter how upsetting his loss was, he has dominated the middleweight division for 5 solid years and that his fans will always appreciate him for the legend that he is today.


No comments: