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UFC 139: Wanderlei Silva's night of glory

Mixed martial artist Wanderlei Silva arrives at his

Mixed martial artist Wanderlei Silva arrives at his 34th birthday celebration and post-fight party for UFC 116 at Studio 54 inside the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. (July 4, 2010) Credit: Getty

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- How old school is Wanderlei Silva? He still walks out to the cage blasting the techno classic "Sandstorm." And his mixed martial arts career dates back prior to that song's creation in 1999.

Coming off his first-round knockout loss to Chris Leben in July, his third loss in his last four fights, the talk surrounding Silva was his retirement. But there he was, in the octagon erected inside the HP Pavilion on Saturday night for UFC 139, exchanging strikes with kickboxing legend Cung Le as if his career depended on it.

It probably did.

The past tense there is correct, and not just because it already happened. Silva unloaded with a huge flurry of punches, elbows, kicks and knees late in the second and defeated Le by knockout with 21 seconds left and extended his career.

Once hesitant early in the fight, you could sense the exhuberance eminating through Silva's body and the middleweight sat atop the cage and extended his arms to toward the sky in victory.

Silva (34-11-1) got knocked down once in each round but did what he does best: fight. Once he got Le (7-2) hurt and down to the ground in the final minute, he unleashed the type of Muay Thai fury that the screaming fans in the arena have spent three decades watching.

New York Sports