UFC star Wanderlei Silva, 36, took the worst blow to the gut there is last Sunday, when his father, Holando Pinheiro da Silva, died in a car accident in the Brazilian state of Paraná.
According to BandNews, the first television network to report the tragedy, Holando was in a car accident this Sunday on the road from the town of Castro to Abapã, where he owned a ranch. The car he was in collided head on with another car, the driver of which also died on impact. A child was severely injured and taken to the nearest hospital.
Wanderlei was informed of his father’s passing by family members who called him in Las Vegas, where he had been having a happy time expecting to take part on the October UFC Rio card, and where he recently had an encounter with another fighting legend, Mike Tyson. Wanderlei will arrive in Brazil today for the burial.
Five days ago, Wand posted a video on his blog, revealing a meeting with his father and thanking his “boss” for all he had done for him. Watch the footage of the father and son together:
“I haven’t the words to thank you all for your support. We end up not knowing what to do, but it’s at times like this that we know who is on our side. Thank you very much,” Wand posted in Portuguese over Twitter.
A wave of solidarity poured over the microblog following the news, with dozens of Jiu-Jitsu and UFC fighters sending their condolences to the former Pride middleweight champion throughout the night.
The tragedy that befell the Silva family is something cruelly recurrent in Brazil. Recent statistics show that 65 people die on Brazilian highways per day. Forty thousand people die in traffic accidents in the country each year.
The GRACIEMAG team sends its deepest condolences to Wanderlei and his team.