Rare Footage Of Wanderlei Silva’s Bareknuckle Fights Before MMA Had Rules

Before taking his violence and brutality at the Ultimate Fighting Championship, Wanderlei Silva took his talents first in a bare-knuckle tournament hosted by his home country, Brazil. 

At an early age, ‘The Axe Murderer’ has been involved in several street brawls, which was the force behind his aggressive and devil-may-care style of fighting. When he trained under Chute Boxing Academy and learn the basics of Muay Thai and kickboxing, he became a more dangerous fighter, who would later be recognized for his talents and dominate major tournaments such as the bare-knuckle contest, Vale Tudo.

Let’s take a trip down the memory lane and relive the Brazilian’s best moments in his bare-knuckle stints.

Rare Footage Of Wanderlei Silva's Bareknuckle Fights Before MMA Had Rules
(Photo: Scrapdigest)

No Gloves On

Wanderlei Silva has an insatiable appetite for destruction that he participated in various mixed martial arts competition even with no gloves on. He joined a bare-knuckle tournament called Vale Tudo in his native country, Brazil.

It was a one-night competition, where participants fight unarmed and under few special rules. Vale Tudo, a Portuguese phrase which means ‘anything goes,’ uses different styles and techniques of martial arts.

Silva tried his might in the tournament first before wreaking havoc in the PRIDE Fighting Championship and UFC. In September 1997, he made quick work of his first opponent, Sean Bormet, with an 89-second knockout before he pummeled Egidio Da Costa in a brutal ground and pound to come out with a first-round stoppage win.

These wins catapulted Silva in the final round of the event, where he squared off with Artur Mariano. Unfortunately, his first bare-knuckle stint ended in a sour note as he suffered a doctored stoppage loss after sustaining a gruesome injury above his eye.

But a single loss would not stop ‘The Axe Murderer’ from participating in old-school no rules fights. Silva starred in another bare-knuckle fight a year after. He joined the IVC 6 and faced Mike Van Arsdale. This time, his grit and aggression were enough to score a convincing win as he finished his opponent in just the first round with a soccer kick.
The victory paved the way for Silva’s career in the world’s most prestigious MMA promotion.

(Featured Image Source: YouTube)

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