Extract of an interview from a Brazilian newspaper, translated at UFCJUNkie.com
Links to full article here UFC blog for UFC news, MMA news, UFC rumors, UFC gossip, fighter interviews and event previews and recaps - UFCjunkie.com Wanderlei Silva pode voltar aos ringues apenas em 2008 :: Gazeta do Povo Online
PRIDE’s Wanderlei Silva declared that he will take off the rest of 2007 to focus on training. In an in-depth interview posted today in the Gazeta do Povo, a newspaper from Silva’s hometown of Curitiba, Brazil, the former PRIDE 205-pound champion expressed that he would not return to the PRIDE ring — or the UFC Octagon — until sometime in 2008.
From the interview:
O aguardado retorno do lutador paranaense Wanderlei Silva aos ringues do Pride (ou ao octagon do Ultimate Fighting Championship) pode não acontecer neste ano. Pela primeira vez no ano, Wandeco – como é chamado pelos amigos – admitiu que o seu retorno pode acontecer apenas em 2008.
Loosely translated from Portuguese:
The eagerly anticipated return of Southern Brazilian fighter Wanderlei Silva to the ring of Pride (or to the Octagon of the Ultimate Fighting Championship) will not happen in this year. For the first time in the year, Wandeco — as he is known to his friends — admitted that his return will wait until 2008. Among the some reasons raised for the Chute Boxe Academy fighter’s sabbatical was his contractual situation and the need for a period of rest and improvement.
Silva also said he is not directly under contract with either the PRIDE organization or the UFC. However, he said he had spoken to UFC president Dana White since the acquisition but the two had not discussed a contract. Silva was quoted as saying (translated) “I am training without a specific fight for the first time in my life, therefore I am training at a lower intensity, and I am using this time to my advantage to relax and to improve some things in my fighting style”.
Silva did go on to say that despite the announcement that he wouldn’t fight for the remainder of 2007, he would not rule out competing in a “SuperBowl of MMA” event between the UFC and PRIDE if one were to be announced later in the year. However, with the lack of progress on the PRIDE acquisition and the way the UFC is scheduling UFC events even further into the future than ever before, it’s unlikely we see such a “SuperBowl” event until 2008 anyway.