Wanderlei Silva will have a busy year in 2014.
Right after his upcoming bout with long-time rival Chael Sonnen on TUF: Brazil 3, "The Axe Murderer" will start his campaign for a seat in the Brazilian congress, affiliated with Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB) in Parana. Like many sports athletes, including former professional boxer Acelino Freitas and soccer superstar Romario, Silva intends to be a federal deputy for the next four years, starting on Jan. 1, if elected on Oct. 5.
"I realized that I have many projects to be done, many interesting things, and if everything goes right, I will do this," Silva said in a release. "I’ll go to the TUF house, knock Sonnen out and then start my campaign. I just opened a free, public MMA gym in Paraiba, so why can’t Curitiba or Sao Paulo have one? No money? Someone needs to do this. I’m tired of asking, so I’m going to do that on my own hands at the congress."
"No more corrupt politicians stealing from us," he continued. "This generation needs to go to jail, retire or die. It’s the time for the good people, but we need to do something. It needs to be good for everybody. And if you think Romario is controversial, wait until I get there."
For his fight against Sonnen, Silva will leave his gym in Las Vegas, Nev., and move back to Brazil to prepare. The former Pride middleweight champion will train at Andre Amado’s gym Evolucao Thai in Curitiba, but wants Rafael Cordeiro and Fabricio Werdum to be part of his camp.
"I have family and friends here, and I will bring some people to help me in this camp," he said. "There’s so much talent in Brazil, and it’s one of the few places in the world where I can gather a large group of talented fighters. I will bring some wrestling athletes and sparrings, and I also want to bring Rafael Cordeiro. If everything goes right, it’s going to be one of the best training camps of my life."
Sonnen is already in Brazil to coach on the next season of The Ultimate Fighter, but Silva didn’t meet him yet.
"I had no contact with Sonnen yet," he said. "I’m really motivated and I’m sure that I will coach a great team."