While some visual evidence does exist, what exactly happened in the locker room at Pride “Shockwave” on December 31, 2005?
The entire martial arts world has already seen the YouTube video where Charles Bennett and Cristiano Marcello, jiu-jitsu trainer of Chute Boxe team, had a fight in the Pride locker room a few hours before the grudge match between Wanderlei Silva and Ricardo Arona.
Everything happened shortly after “Krazy Horse” submitted Japanese fighter Ken Kaneko, who also made his camp in Chute Boxe. Marcello, who was in Kaneko’s corner, had a discussion with Bennett, who was sharing a locker room with the Chute Boxe team that night, right after that fight ended. What resulted was a confrontation where Marcello applied a triangle choke that rendered Bennett unconscious, as seen in the video.
However, perhaps the most controversial part of that history occurs when Bennett regains consciousness — and that’s not shown in any video. When Krazy Horse awakens and sees Silva standing up in front of him, pushing him with his feet to make him leave his warm-up area, the American applies an elbow right to Silva´s chin, who immediately falls unconscious. That big secret, hidden by all Chute Boxe members for 15 years, was finally revealed in Silva’s book “Sem Coleira,” which launched in Brazil last week.
One day after the launch ceremony, PVT conducted a live interview with Rafael Cordeiro, Master Rudimar Fedrigo, Silva and Mauricio Rua, where many histories of the Chute Boxe team were revealed — including that incident. They confirmed the encounter between Silva and Bennett that was not captured on video.
“Rafael always helped me a lot in the psychological aspect [of the sport] since he became a trainer,” Fedrigo said. “I have to admit I was totally lost when I saw our champion unconscious a few minutes from the most important fight of his career. Rafael took control of the entire situation. [He said]: ‘Wanderlei what happened is that you just got punched by surprise and now he woke up the lion inside of you. Nobody can beat you when you bring that spirit. Go there, beat that guy and bring your belt back to Curitiba.’ And that´s what Wanderlei did.”
Silva offered his perspective on the episode.
“When I woke up, I asked Rafael what happened and he told me the guy had hit me by surprise, and I ran after ‘Krazy Horse,’ but he had already gone,” Silva said. “When he fought Cristiano we had about ten guys from Chute Boxe [nearby] and we allowed him to fight one-on-one. Nobody touched him.
“When he woke up, he attacked me by surprise. That clown attitude could have cost me my belt. Thanks to master Rafael and Rudimar I had a great training camp that allowed me to recover and retain my title.”
Silva defeated Arona by split decision that night, avenging a loss to his rival that occurred four months earlier. Considering that most athletic commissions hand down precautionary suspensions following a knockout defeat in sanctioned competition, it becomes even more amazing to consider that “The Axe Murderer” fought Arona for 20 hard minutes after being unconscious in the locker room just minutes earlier.