As a late teen he joined the Brazilian army and was quickly recognized for his fighting talents and rose up in the ranks. There he was asked to join Vale Tudo and Brazilian jiu-jitsu school.
Silva would develop scar tissue around his eyes from fighting in bare-knuckle vale tudo. Mere minutes before the fight, Silva's team mate Cristiano Marcello had choked Charles Bennett unconscious in the locker room after a confrontation. Silva then announced he would be out of action until 2010, as he underwent facial surgery to repair his nose (which was broken during Silva's second fight with Cro Cop, and then repeatedly broken again in later matches) and remove some scar tissue from above his eyes to avoid bleeding and being easily cut open during future fights. Henderson went for the armbar again and Silva stood. Henderson looked winded.  However, on 22 June, Silva had to pull out due to breaking three ribs during training. Silva entered the UFC on 16 October 1998, at UFC Brazil: Ultimate Brazil, in a match against Vitor Belfort. Silva struggled to posture up.
In Japan, Silva additionally gained his reputation as a fighter who has never been defeated by any Japanese opponent, resulting in a trend of various Japanese fighters being arranged by Pride to face him. , On 25 June 2018, Bellator MMA announced that Silva would face Rampage Jackson in a fourth match on 29 September 2018 at Bellator 206.
This was counterbalanced by Franklin dropping Silva three times in that round, each time with singular strikes.  After months of speculation about Silva's opponent, UFC President Dana White announced that Chuck Liddell would be Silva's opponent for his return match.  However, on 2 December, Silva withdrew from the bout citing injury. Silva won by unanimous decision.  The first round began. Silva stood and tried for a head kick from the standing but he missed and began landing the thigh kicks once more. Fight of the Year (2008). He is the former PRIDE Middleweight Champion, and the 2003 PRIDE Middleweight Grand Prix Tournament Champion.
Date: Feb 24, 2007 Henderson landed a knee. Silva also took this fight on two days notice.
Henderson walked into a left.
, After four years away from the sport, Silva made his delayed Bellator debut against Chael Sonnen in the main event at Bellator NYC on 24 June 2017.  As a result of his refusal to submit to the drug tests, Silva was given a lifetime ban and a $70,000 fine by the Nevada State Athletic Commission at their meeting on 23 September 2014. In July 2016, it was announced that Silva would return to mixed martial arts competition in Japan as part of Rizin's 16-man openweight tournament beginning 25 September 2016 in Tokyo. The surgery allowed him to breathe through a once completely blocked nose thus increasing his oxygen intake by 30% by doctor's estimates. Silva and Vitor Belfort coached The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil A rematch with Belfort was expected to take place on 23 June 2012 at UFC 147 but due to a broken hand Vitor Belfort had to withdraw from the match.. The fight was restarted on the ground. Silva took Henderson down and landed some knees while Henderson was down on all fours. Silva made his middleweight (185 lb) debut during UFC 110 against Michael Bisping on 21 February 2010. Jackson knocked Silva down near the end of the first round and mounted him as the bell rang. Fight of the Night. I felt the reason he got the decision was the knockdown right at the end.”, Silva was expected to face former K-1 HERO'S Light heavyweight Champion Yoshihiro Akiyama at UFC 116. On 21 October 2006 at Pride 32: The Real Deal, Wanderlei issued his challenge to Chuck Liddell to a fight inside a Pride ring in February, when the promotion returned to Las Vegas, however Dana White stated that the fight would not be happening, citing Silva's recent KO loss to Mirko Cro Cop which would have not allowed the NSAC to clear him medically for the fight that soon after being knocked out. Catchweight (195 pounds) bout. Silva won by TKO after delivering seventeen consecutive knees to Jackson. After three rounds of fighting, Silva was awarded the unanimous decision victory (29–28, 29–28, and 29–28) and his first victory in almost two years. Henderson executed good head control while Silva struggled to sit up in the mount.
Organization: Pride Fighting Championships, Dan "Hendo" Henderson vs Wanderlei "The Axe Murderer" Silva Pride 33 - Second Coming Full Fight Video watch video >>, Dan "Hendo" Henderson vs Mauricio "Shogun" Rua UFC 139 - Shogun vs. Henderson Full Fight Video watch video >>, Vitor "The Phenom" Belfort vs Dan "Hendo" Henderson UFC Fight Night 77 - Belfort vs. Henderson 3 Main Card watch video >>, Dan "Hendo" Henderson vs Michael "The Count" Bisping UFC 100 - Lesnar vs. Mir 2 Full Fight Video watch video >>, Dan "Hendo" Henderson vs Mauricio "Shogun" Rua UFC Fight Night 38 - Shogun vs. Henderson 2 Full Fight Video watch video >>, Tim "The Barbarian" Boetsch vs Dan "Hendo" Henderson UFC Fight Night 68 New Orleans - Boetsch vs. Henderson FOX Sports 1 Main Card watch video >>, Daniel "DC" Cormier vs Dan "Hendo" Henderson UFC 173 - Barao vs. Dillashaw watch video >>, Vitor "The Phenom" Belfort vs Dan "Hendo" Henderson Full Fight Video UFC Fight Night 32 - Belfort vs. Henderson Goiania Arena, Goiania, Goias, Brazil November 9, 2013 watch video >>, Lyoto "The Dragon" Machida vs Dan "Hendo" Henderson Full Fight Video UFC 157 - Rousey vs. Carmouche Feb 23, 2013 watch video >>, Dan "Hendo" Henderson vs Vitor "The Phenom" Belfort Pride 32 - The Real Deal watch video >>, Dan "Hendo" Henderson vs Renzo Gracie Pride 13 - Collision Course Full Fight Video watch video >>, Dan "Hendo" Henderson vs Renato "Babalu" Sobral Strikeforce - Henderson vs. Babalu 2 Full Fight Video watch video >>, Dan "Hendo" Henderson vs Rafael "Feijao" Cavalcante Strikeforce - Feijao vs. Henderson Full Fight Video watch video >>, Dan "Hendo" Henderson vs Murilo Bustamante Pride FC - Final Conflict 2003 Full Fight Video watch video >>, Dana White tells the press that the Dan Henderson vs. Mauricio 'Shogun' Rua was one of the Top 3 fights ever.
After the fight Silva said, "Win or lose I like to give the emotion for my fans" He also added that he gave his best and promised that next time he will deliver a win. The fight ended. They clinched into the corner and Silva landed a knee inside and then another.
Silva stayed standing and landed more thigh kicks now. , In April 2016, Silva became an American citizen. Pride 2006 Heavyweight Grand Prix Semifinal. Antonio Rogerio Nogueira vs. Todd Gouwenberg, https://mmabouts.fandom.com/wiki/Wanderlei_Silva_vs._Dan_Henderson_1?oldid=4425.
 His main strength on the ring lays in his offensive striking skills, which see him overwhelming his adversaries with hooks, knee strikes, soccer kicks and stomps, as well as willingly taking any countershot in order to continue landing his own hits. It's so incredible that I'm from Brazil but when I fight American fighters the crowd is much more for me over the American fighters. , In May 2015, judge Kerry Earley overturned the lifetime ban that was imposed on Wanderlei Silva by the Nevada State Athletic Commission. The loss, by unanimous decision in the tournament's semi-finals, was Silva's first defeat in a middleweight match in Pride; however, since it was not a title fight and held under special rules due to the grand prix format (2 rounds instead of 3), Silva was still recognized as the middleweight champion.
Afterwards in the press conference, Dana White commented that it was a good stoppage and that Cung was taken to the hospital. Silva smiled and landed more thigh kicks to Henderson.
At UFC 92, Wanderlei fought Quinton Jackson, who he had beaten twice previously in PRIDE. The referee finally stood the fight up and the crowd applauded. Heavyweight bout. From 1999 to 2004, Silva won eighteen-straight fights in PRIDE, excluding a draw against Mirko Cro Cop (under slightly modified rules in which if the match would go to the time limit, the bout would be declared a draw) and a no contest against Gilbert Yvel (Silva accidentally kicked Yvel in the groin), giving him a twenty-fight unbeaten streak.
Silva used his strength to control Malenko from the ground, demonstrating his grappling expertise, coming very close to securing a guillotine choke and a rear-naked choke during round one, in addition to landing many powerful knees from the clinch.  Though his grappling expertise was initially considered inferior to his striking skills due to his preference for ground and pound, he enjoys a refined Brazilian jiu-jitsu transitional game.
Silva defeated Stann via KO in the second round in a bout that featured back and forth action, and earned both participants Fight of the Night honors. Silva landed a few kidney punches.
Silva faced Rich Franklin at UFC 99 at a catchweight bout of 195 lb. The referee gave a yellow card to both fighters.
Henderson pulled guard. The referee turned the fight away from the ropes.
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