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Wanderlei Silva to Return to Light Heavyweight Division

Rafael Suanes – US Presswire

Fan favorite UFC fighter Wanderlei Silva has not competed in mixed martial arts since June of this year. He plans to resume active competition in early 2013 in a return to his traditional weight class, light heavyweight.

During a Sherdog interview, Silva said,

“I want to either fight a catchweight bout at 198 pounds or at light heavyweight. At middleweight, I’m very hungry [laughs]. Right now, I’m doing weight training and some shadow boxing. I’m kind of on vacation now, paying attention to the family, but next year the Wand is back.”

Silva competed at a higher weight for the majority of his career, although he competed as a middleweight more recently. His most recent fight, a decision loss in a five-round war with former middleweight champion Rich Franklin, took place at a catchweight of 190 pounds. Although he has only won two out of his last six fights, he hopes that competing closer to his walking-around weight will help him return to his classic form.

With a record of 34 wins, 12 losses and 1 draw with 24 of those wins coming by knockout, Silva’s fight history contains many of the biggest names on the MMA scene over the past 10 years. He holds noteworthy wins over such iconic figures as Kazushi Sakuraba, Guy Mezger, Chuck Liddell, Dan Henderson, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, Michael Bisping and Cung Le.

One of the biggest reasons for Silva’s enduring popularity is his willingness to take on any opponent at any time. It is perhaps not surprising, then, that when asked who he wanted to fight first when he returns to active competition, he responded, “Actually, anyone they offer is good for me. I’ll face whomever the UFC wants.”