Considered one of the toughest sports on the planet, MMA has always had to deal with extensive discussion about possible brain damage that head injuries suffered inside the cage can cause. For veterans who have fought and bled for years inside cages or rings, this issue is one that shouldn’t be underestimated. One of the most renowned veterans of the game recently turned his attention to that side of the sport.
After more than 20 years of competing in professional MMA and with 50 mostly action-packed fights to his name, Wanderlei Silva is one of the names that often comes up first in MMA-related health discussions. That’s why, recently, “The Axe Murderer” tried to take matters into his own hands.
“I was in contact with a company in Canada that was about to launch a brain-protecting product called ‘Brain Armor’”, Silva told AG. Fight. “It’s a supplement that contains all the essential vitamins for the brain and that should be taken by all athletes who are suffering impacts on the brain. I went to a lecture where the doctor listed ten symptoms [of brain damage] and I actually had a few of them. But they are symptoms inherent in any person, such as mood swings, memory failure, smaller sleep difficulties… Some things that are not so harmful, but they really get in the way. But in this life, we have to be prepared for everything.”
“I’m one of the first athletes who’s been competing since I was a young man, when I was 13. I don’t feel any consequences. Sometimes, I forget something, but it’s not something that interferes with my life. I take good care of myself, I take my vitamins, my supplements and I have a good life. When we use our machine as I use it, we have to take good care of ourselves, we can’t mess up.”
After losing to Chael Sonnen at Bellator 180 last June in what was his first fight in more than four years, Silva still has no date set to return to competition. If things go the way the Brazilian legend wants them to go, though, he might still be back in the cage in 2017.
“The next fight still depends [on various factors], but I should be back in December. That’s why I’m just doing things outside the cage right now. I want to give our sport more leverage, which is still a poor and low-paying sport.”
A former Pride middleweight champion and known for his all-out-action fighting style, Wanderlei Silva is considered one of the legends of the sport. At 41 years of age, the Brazilian sports a career record of 35 wins, 13 defeats, one draw and one No Contest.