Las Vegas – UFC® today announced that former PRIDE FC middleweight champion Wanderlei Silva will be inducted into the 2024 Class of the UFC Hall of Fame as a Pioneer. The 2024 UFC Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will take place this summer in Las Vegas and will be streamed live exclusively on UFC FIGHT PASS®.

“Wanderlei Silva is one of the true pioneers of the sport of MMA,” UFC CEO Dana White said. “Wanderlei was an absolute savage who left his mark by delivering some of the most memorable fights in combat sports history. He had legendary fights against Mirko Cro Crop, Chuck Liddell, Dan Henderson, Brian Stann, and his fights against Rich Franklin, as they were absolute wars! He was also one of the early superstars of PRIDE who helped grow the MMA fanbase on a global scale, and it will be an honor to induct him into the UFC Hall of Fame this summer.”

Silva will enter the UFC Hall of Fame as the 19th member of the Pioneer Era Wing. The Pioneers Era category includes athletes who turned professional before November 17, 2000 (when the unified rules of mixed martial arts were adopted), are a minimum age of 35, or who have been retired for one year or more.

A veteran of 51 fights during his 22-year professional MMA career, Silva registered a record of 35-14-1 Draw / 1 NC (27-11-1-1, – UFC / PRIDE), securing victories over UFC Hall of Famers Kazushi Sakuraba, Michael Bisping and Dan Henderson (Fight Wing); UFC® 13 lightweight tournament winner Guy Mezger; former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson; former Pancrase middleweight, light heavyweight, and open weight champion Yuki Kondo; former Strikeforce U.S. middleweight champion Eugene Jackson; and former WEC® light heavyweight champion Brian Stann.

Silva made his professional MMA debut on November 1, 1996, by competing in Brazilian Vale Tudo 6. He defeated his opponent via knockout in the first round and would win four of his next five fights across Vale Tudo before entering UFC with a 5-1 record.

Silva made his UFC debut as part of UFC® BRAZIL: ULTIMATE BRAZIL, which took place on October 16, 1998, in Sao Paulo. He faced UFC® 12 heavyweight tournament champion and future UFC light heavyweight champion Vitor Belfort, losing via punches 44 seconds into the first round.

Following his loss to Belfort, Silva would return to Vale Tudo and earn two wins before returning to the Octagon® and defeating Tony Petarra via first-round knockout at UFC® 20: BATTLE FOR THE GOLD on May 7, 1999.

Silva left UFC and won his next three fights in PRIDE FC, a legendary Japanese MMA promotion, before returning to the Octagon to face future UFC Hall of Famer Tito Ortiz for the vacant UFC light heavyweight title in the main event of UFC® 25: ULTIMATE JAPAN 3. Silva and Ortiz would go the distance with Tito capturing the title via unanimous decision.

After losing his shot at the UFC light heavyweight title, Silva spent the next seven years competing primarily in Japan for PRIDE FC. During this time, he fought 25 times for Japan, becoming the PRIDE FC middleweight champion by defeating future UFC Hall of Famer Kazushi Sakuraba during PRIDE 17 in 2001. Silva successfully defended his title four times, and his reign would last for 1,939 days, the longest title run in PRIDE FC history.

During his tenure as middleweight champion, Silva also entered the 2003 PRIDE FC Middleweight Grand Prix, defeating Sakuraba, as well as four-time World Judo Champion and three-time Olympic medalist Hidehiko Yoshida and former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton Jackson to become the Grand Prix Champion. His win would make history as the first athlete to win a PRIDE Championship and Grand Prix. He would also enter the 2005 and 2006 Grand Prix, advancing to the semi-finals each year.

Silva returned to UFC in 2007 to face former UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell in the co-main event of UFC® 79: NEMESIS. Silva would lose via unanimous decision, but he would become a fan favorite as the bout won several “Fight of the Year” accolades from media outlets.

For the next six years, Silva would compete against the top contenders in the UFC middleweight and light heavyweight divisions. He defeated former WEC® light heavyweight champion Brian Stann via knockout in the main event of UFC on FUEL TV: SILVA vs. STANN on March 3, 2013. This would serve as his final UFC fight. He would compete two more times outside of the Octagon before retiring on September 29, 2018.

Silva enters the UFC Hall of Fame with an impressive resume that includes:


  • Most knockouts in Zuffa history (PRIDE / UFC / WEC / Strikeforce) – 19

  • Most knockdowns in Zuffa history (PRIDE / UFC / WEC / Strikeforce) – 27



  • Most wins in PRIDE history – 22

  • Most knockouts in PRIDE history – 15

  • Most knockdowns in PRIDE history – 18

  • Most significant strikes in PRIDE history – 720

  • Longest undefeated fight streak in PRIDE history – 20 (18-0-1, 1 NC)

  • Longest title reign in PRIDE history as middleweight champion – 1,939 days

  • Tied for most knockouts by soccer kicks/stomps in PRIDE history – 4

Outside the Octagon, Silva has been honored with numerous awards during his career, receiving Knockout of the Decade honors in 2004 by Sports Illustrated for his KO of Quinton Jackson at PRIDE 28. In 2008, he received Fight of the Year for his bout against UFC Hall of Famer Chuck Liddell at UFC 79, and Knockout of the Year for his KO of Keith Jardine at UFC 84 during the Fighters Only World MMA Awards. In 2020, Sem Coleira, a Portuguese biography of his life, was published.

A native of Curitiba, Brazil, Silva began training in Muay Thai and kickboxing when he joined the Chute Boxe Academy. As a member of the Brazilian army, he also began to train in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. He currently lives in Curitiba, with his wife and children. To view Silva’s UFC FIGHT PASS collection please visit: https://ufcfightpass.com/playlist/20539