Wanderlei Silva might not be cleared to compete in the U.S. until 2017, but that does not mean his services are being forgotten.
“The Axe Murderer” recently told Combate out of Brazil that “the possibility of being able to fight again means a lot to me.”
During a hearing with the Nevada Athletic Commission earlier this month, Silva was given a three-year ban retroactive to 2014. He eluded a drug test at that time, while he was under contract to the UFC. Originally, the commission banned him for life, but that was also later overturned.
Now that the UFC has severed ties with the Brazilian, he is clear to seek work elsewhere.
Last week, Silva appeared at a fan-fest event in Houston for Bellator to promote a show.
“I had a meeting with Nobuyuki Sakakibara, and he’s super interested in bringing me back to Japan,” Silva said. “He said Japanese are anxious to see me compete again. We’re also flirting with Bellator. They want to make a deal together so I can fight in Japan and here in the United State, and I would fight for both promotions (Rizin and Bellator).”
Silva revealed that his heart is truly set on competing in Japan again, adding that Rizin has already offered him a jiu-jitsu match, two vs. two and a possible tournament bout.
“That’s the plan for 2016,” he said. “The Japanese promotion created Wanderlei Silva.”
As for that potential match with former heavyweight king Fedor Emelianenko, Silva appears to remain very interested.
“There’s a possibility of fighting Fedor, who is an opponent I would really like to fight,” he said. “I’m not just talking, but can’t be the first one, right? Now that I haven’t fought in two years, I can’t get him right away. I need to do some fights first, get my rhythm back and when the promotion things it’s time and I feel I’m in a good rhythm, I would really want to test myself against him.”
For years, Silva and Emelianenko ruled Pride in Japan. However, their paths never crossed at that time.