This photo was taken on November 29, 2008 in Las Vegas, Nevada
I met Wanderlei Silva when he was in Las Vegas for UFC 79 fight week, in which he was to start his second UFC promotion run against Chuck Liddell. When I first saw an opening to introduce myself, he saw me approaching and looked me up and down like I was lunch meat. Like he wanted to stomp me out, so I literally walked backwards. Later on, I felt a little dumb for letting that stop me, but if all you saw of someone was them kicking the living shit out of other human beings mixed with the look he gave me, you would have second guessed yourself as well.
As a matter of fact, everyone in his camp looked angry and hungry, so I pretty much abandoned the idea of speaking to him all together. I talked to several people from the UFC about Wanderlei and they all said he was very nice and friendly but that’s just not the vibe I got. We locked eyes a few times but I always pretended like I was looking past him. Dude just looked mean.
Fight week passed, the fight was over and I saw Wanderlei backstage as they were about to take him to the hospitalI. He sees me and he says…
“Hey you my friend, come here..” as he motioned for me to come over to him.
I walk over and he turns to me with a few stitches in his face and some gauze in his nose and in his thick Brazilian accent says…
“You got something to say? You want to talk to me? I’m a nice guy…Okaaaay. You can talk to me. Just not before the fight. Okaaaay? You are with the other guy, so now the fight is over, Noooow. Now we can talk. What can I do?
I was a tad bit in shock, because he actually was nice, so I quickly tried to explain one idea I had to photograph him and he seemed game but wanted to connect once he was living in the USA which would be 11 months later.
My inspiration for this photo was to capture the “victory scream” that Wanderlei unleashed into the camera after beating Quinton Rampage Jackson for the second time at PRIDE 28. It is one of the most memorable, celebratory moments in the PRIDE fight video catalog.
This is quintessential Wanderlei Silva.
This is a Limited Edition Giclee on cotton fiber paper.
Photographer Eric Williams, signed the artwork in the presence of a Notary Public.
EDITION SIZE IS LIMITED TO ONLY 10 PIECES.
The image Size is 32 x 40
Approximate framed size 37 3/4 x 45 3/4