Wanderlei Silva Comes Out Of Retirement And Signs With Bellator
The next phase of the career of MMA legend Wanderlei Silva began today with the announcement that “The Axe Murderer” has signed with Bellator.
The 39-year-old Silva (35-12-1 MMA, 5-7 UFC), the promotion today announced, has signed an exclusive multi-fight, multi-year deal. The signing appeared to be an inevitability after Bellator President Scott Coker said recently that the promotion was having serious talks with the former UFC standout and PRIDE champion about coming out of retirement.
But Silva’s first fight with the company may be a ways off. In February, the Nevada State Athletic Commission voted to suspend Silva for three years following a re-hearing on a lifetime ban issued about a year and a half ago.
The NSAC banned Silva and fined him $70,000 for evading a drug test in connection with a proposed fight against Chael Sonnen at UFC 175. Silva’s new three-year suspension is retroactive to the date of that original incident, May 24, 2014, meaning he is eligible to apply for a license on May 25, 2017. He is also required to provide a clean drug test upon applying for a new license.
This is Bellator coming off the top rope with another great free agent signing. By great, I mean they added another guy in his 40’s to show up out of shape and embarrass the sport. I get Silva will create hype for Bellator but I hope it doesn’t come at a steep price. It is good to sell tickets but it is also good to put on quality cards with fighters who can make it out of the 1st round. Silva was one of the hardest punchers in the sport but with all this controversy he loses some appeal for me. It is cool he can knock down a wall with his jab, but I could bench press 800 pounds if I was big and strong. Try and make sense out of that.