Wanderlei Silva knows a thing or two about fear. He has, after all, struck it into many a heart in his day and seen it in many eyes.
During his PRIDE FC prime, Silva was undoubtedly the most intimidating man in world MMA. He looked every bit ‘The Axe Murderer’ with his bowel-stimulating gaze and that strange, childish little hand-rolling thing he somehow turned into the stuff of nightmares. Then there were the gruesome acts that he committed inside the ring. Those vicious hooks, the barbaric knees, the soccer-kicks, and, of course, the head-stomps.
Oh, the head-stomps.
If you missed him in his heyday, that’s a real shame, but you probably sleep better at night than the rest of us.
Anyway, warranted hyperbole out of the way, we are a little worried that Silva’s fear-radar might be on the fritz. As Wandy apparently sees the same thing in the eyes of still-reigning UFC featherweight champion Conor McGregor today that he saw in those of his own opponents back in the early naughties.
The Irishman, says the grizzled Silva, is afraid of Jose Aldo.
“McGregor fears Aldo, which is understandable,” Silva told Brazilian MMA media outlet Combate(via BloodyElbow).“I would be scared, too. Aldo is hands down the best fighter in the division and you can’t just mess with someone like that. When you mess with a fighter like that, it’s not about the money anymore. My dad used to say you don’t mess with a man. So don’t mess with Aldo. If you want his fans and his show, you need to respect him and not make empty promises.”
Aldo, of course, has been chasing a rematch with McGregor ever since he was starched by ‘The Notorious’ in just 13 seconds last December(not a result that one would imagine has left McGregor stricken with fear). The Brazilian thought he had earned his shot at redemption when he scored a unanimous decision win over Frankie Edgar at UFC 200 in July, but due to McGregor’s desire to continue his weight-hopping odyssey, that bout has not materialised.
The jilted Aldo, has reacted badly to this whole situation and recently called for a release from his contract, saying that he could no longer trust UFC president Dana White.
However, Silva feels that it would be a mistake for Aldo to leave the company. The former PRIDE middleweight champion believes that his countryman still has plenty to give and urged Jose to consider the wishes of his many fans.
“But if I could give Aldo a piece of advice today, it would be for him to calm down a think about his fans,” Silva said. “He’s still very young and has 10, 12 fights left in him and he can’t leave his fans, like me, without that fight and many others he can still have. Besides, he can still bring a lot of joy to our country.”