Wanderlei Silva signs with Bellator MMABy Paul Fontaine | @PaulAceFontaine | Mar 2, 2016 10:24 am
Just weeks after Wanderlei Silva had his lifetime ban reduced to 3 years, “The Axe Murderer” has signed with Bellator MMA to an exclusive multi-year, multi-fight contract the promotion announced today. Silva is eligible to apply for reinstatement in May of 2017 and cannot fight anywhere that recognizes suspensions by the Nevada State Athletic Commission until that time.
Bellator has announced a number of international events for 2016 so it’s possible he could fight before that time. Silva has a 35-12-1 record and this signing comes on the 3rd anniversary of his last fight in the UFC, where he scored a 2nd round KO of Brian Stann, who retired after that fight. The former Pride Middleweight Champion was a legendary figure in the sport who had a stretch between April 2000 and December 2004 where he had 18 fights with no losses and 14 knockouts. Those fights were against the top fighters in the world at the time including, Dan Henderson, Rampage Jackson, Sakuraba, Mirko Cro Cop and others. He’s now 39 with his best days over a decade behind him but as shown in recent weeks, Bellator seems willing to book fights with guys that are long past their prime and have done so with ratings success.
No fight was announced, or even hinted at, in the company press release but they did say that Silva fielded multiple offers from companies around the world before deciding to sign with Bellator MMA.