The following is an article from The Rebel Yell website:
To the MAXson: Silva’s late night meant defeat
By Matt Maxson
This past Saturday, the Mixed Martial Arts community witnessed the fall of a legend. Wanderlei Silva, PRIDE Fighting Championships Middleweight champion and 2003 Grand Prix Tournament winner, finally lost his title as Middleweight champion to Dan Henderson after holding onto the belt for five years.
The fight, which was dubbed in promotional posters as being an exhibition of Silva’s talents, turned out to be quite the opposite as the Chute Boxe prodigy was knocked out 2:08 into the third round.
Very few saw the fight turning out the way it did, though reports stated that the champ had checked into a hospital the night prior to the fight to get antibiotics for a strep throat infection. However, later that night at approximately 1 a.m., I, with several of my friends, spotted Silva strolling through the Caesar’s Forum Shops with a girlfriend in tow.
What would lead a fighter to do something so brash and stupid as to being out and about in Las Vegas the night before a big fight? I don’t know, and neither does anybody else. Silva was knocked completely unconscious during his fight with Henderson and supposedly made another trip to the hospital, unavailable for comment before leaving for Brazil.
This last fight was Silva’s second straight by knockout loss and places his career in serious jeopardy. A fighter with everything to lose lost it all and in my mind could have been much better off if he had stayed the night in bed.
The question this leaves now is about the future of the Japan-based company and its forward push into the American market. Witnessing the losses of two of their most prized 205-pounders, Silva and Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, while witnessing a paid attendance of under 10,000 for the second straight fight, PRIDE must seriously consider its ability to stay above water in the United States. This event drew the ninth largest crowd in MMA history for Nevada right behind PRIDE’s last event at the Thomas & Mack. The top eight spots belong to the UFC.
DreamStage Entertainment, PRIDE’s principal owning company, has stated, however, that an event is planned for April to be held in Japan again, its first of the new year. No names of fighters appearing have been put forth, but it is most likely that Heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko, the last of PRIDE’s stable fighters, will return for another title defense.