Wanderlei Silva Joins Rizin, Faces Sakuraba in Tag-Team Grappling Match on April 17

By: Sherdog.com Staff
Mar 7, 2016
Former Pride Fighting Championships star Wanderlei Silva is set to return to the land where he gained notoriety.

Japanese promoter Rizin Fighting Federation on Monday announced that it has inked Silva to “a multi-year promotional contract.” The move reunites “The Axe Murderer” with Rizin president Nobuyuki Sakakibara, the co-founder and former head of Pride, whose 205-pound title Silva held from 2001 to 2007.

The announcement comes less than a week after Silva signed a multi-fight contract with Bellator MMA, the American organization with whom Rizin is aligned.

Silva, 39, will make his Rizin debut at the company’s April 17 event, where he will compete in a tag-team grappling match. Along with a partner yet to be announced, Silva will grapple against three-time Pride foe Kazushi Sakuraba and Hideo Tokoro. According to a release, Silva will compete under MMA rules in future Rizin bouts.

Silva has not competed in mixed martial arts since March 2013 and had entered into retirement prior to his signing with Bellator. The Brazilian striker is currently serving a three-year suspension from the Nevada Athletic Commission and is not eligible for relicensure until May 2017. In January, Silva was released from his UFC contract shortly after he apologized for making accusations of fight fixing.

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