Wanderlei Silva’s retirement is over, as “The Axe Murderer” has signed a multi-fight deal with Bellator MMA.
ESPN was the first to report the signing.
Silva (35-12-1) has not fought in over three years and is currently suspended after refusing to take a drug test by the Nevada Athletic Commission. His ban will end in the spring of 2017, but it remains unclear if Silva will try to compete outside of North America.
After the ordeal with the NAC, Silva was given a lifetime ban from the commission. He appealed, and it was overturned last year. However, he remained under contract to the UFC until this past January, when the two sides brokered a deal, making the 39-year-old a free agent.
Silva has made it known on social media that he would like to fight fellow former Pride legend Fedor Emelianenko, who is currently signed to a fight contract with Rizin. Bellator and Rizin put on a show in Japan for New Year’s Eve.
The last time Silva fought was in 2013 when he knocked out Brian Stann. He went 3-2 over his last five UFC fights.
He is a former Pride middleweight champion and Pride Middleweight Grand Prix winner, along with two semifinal appearances.