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UFC Recalls Wanderlei Silva vs. Tito Ortiz, Mike Van Arsdale, Kazushi Sakuraba, More

I previously mentioned a great piece at on the fights that made Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, and now Thomas Gerbasi of is back with a piece on the fights that made Wanderlei Silva. Here's the first, against Mike Van Arsdale:

That was in 1998, when Silva was just 22 years old, and it was, at the time, the biggest fight of his life.

Gerbasi writes:
The bare knuckle IVC fights in Brazil were no joke, and when the 4-1 Silva met standout US wrestler Mike Van Arsdale (then 4-0, with 1 UFC victory) in 1998, it was a pretty big deal for hardcore fight fans. The bout was competitive early on, with Van Arsdale working well from inside Silva's guard. But after Silva worked his way back to his feet, he pounced, nailing Van Arsdale with a knee that hurt him. As the American backpedaled, Silva threw him to the canvas and ended matters with a soccer kick to the head. For all intents and purposes, this was the birth of "The Axe Murderer".
There's also good stuff about Silva's other big fights, including Tito Ortiz in 2000, Kazushi Sakuraba in 2001, Rampage Jackson and Mark Hunt in 2004 and Chuck Liddell in 2007. The whole thing is worth a read.

Bonus video! Some highlights from the Wanderlei Silva-Tito Ortiz fight at UFC 25:

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