Political aspirations squashed? Wanderlei Silva loses bid to join congress

Politics are coming more and more infected with pop culture personalities by the day. With the success Donald Trump had running for office he inspired many other household names to aspire to a career in politics. Among them are also UFC veterans Tito Ortiz, BJ Penna and Wanderlei Silva.

After BJ Penn, Silva lost a bid to secure a seat in Brazilian congress. Silva came up short and lost his second attempt recently.

Wanderlei Silva started to compete in the UFC in 2007. The Brazilian competed in the middleweight division and never won the championship. However, Silva is a tough contender and had many heated rivalries with champions and top contenders, making him one of the renowned names in the UFC.

He was eventually released from the UFC in 2013, but returned to compete in rival promotion Bellator MMA in 2017 and 2018.

Following the end of his MMA career, Silva took an interest in politics. A while back the former PRIDE FC middleweight champion announced that he joined the Federal Deputy for Paraná state in Brazil.

“It’s now official: I’m a candidate for Federal Deputy! I made this decision because a lot of people complain about our country, a lot of people say that here nothing goes right, that nothing works. To change this scenario, I’m making myself available as a candidate for Federal Deputy for Paraná.” Silva wrote on Instagram.

Recently, Wanderlei Silva lost his second bid to have a seat in Brazilian congress. The 46-year-old represented the Progressive Party that sides with the far-right president Jair Bolsonaro.

Wanderlei Silva advertised himself as “a patriot who always for freedom,” to “bring dignity to our sport and work so it becomes a strong instrument for social inclusion.”

Silva needed 61, 500 votes to get a seat in congress but only earned 13,907 votes. Silva failed his second attempt but still continued to campaign for Bolsonaro among with many other prominent Brazilian athletes. Unlike BJ Penn, Silva is taking the loss in stride and didn’t cast doubt on the legitimacy of the process. He took to his Instagram account to thank his voters and wrote, “learned a lot and saw how much I still have to learn.”


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