MMA legend Wanderlei Silva is running for office in Brazil

Wanderlei Silva announced this Thursday that he is running for the seat of federal deputy in the Brazilian Congress. The UFC and Bellator legend already tried his luck in politics in 2018, but that did not go as planned. He lost the seat, although he collected 13,753 votes.

The former middleweight champion left MMA in 2018 after going through close to 50 bouts for a a professional record  consisting of 35-14-1. Silva now joins Progressive Party (PP) and supports Jair Bolsonaro, the far-right leader of Brazil, leaving his previous party Social Democratic Party (PSD).

Silva defined himself as “family man proud of his wife and two beautiful children” and “a patriot who always [fights] for freedom.”

“I made this decision because a lot of people complain about our country, a lot of people say nothing works here,” Silva announced on his social media.

“In order to change this scenario, I’m running as a candidate for federal deputy in the state of Parana. Our state has never had an athlete with a name representing us and I want to be that person.

“I want to get to Brasilia and bring dignity to our sport and work so it becomes a strong instrument for social inclusion. I’m proof of what sports can do for the youth and I know we can change the lives of many. Besides sports, I’ll fight for strong and efficient public safety that values its professionals.”

Wanderlei Silva announced his retirement in 2018 at Bellator 206. His fourth with Quinton Jackson proved to be his last in mixed martial arts. The MMA legend explained concussion-like symptoms including sleeping difficulty, anger, short temper, and mood swings as the reason behind this decision.

Silva had not won since 2013, when he knocked out Brain Stann in Japan. Promotion approached him for his comeback at an event in Curitiba on Sept. 25. But both parties never agreed on terms.