Wanderlei Silva UFC

Wanderlei Silva signs with Bellator, can’t fight until May 2017

Former PRIDE Champ Wanderlei Silva has signed with Bellator. Silva was released from the UFC last month and had his lifetime ban from the Nevada State Athletic Commission reduced to three years. “The Axe Murderer” can’t compete until May 25, 2017 but I’m sure Scott Coker will keep him busy with appearances until he makes his debut with the promotion next year.

Silva is one of the greatest fighters of all time. He was a legend in PRIDE before coming over to the in 2007. Silva has fought a list of who’s who in the sport: Dan Henderson, Chuck Liddell, Mirko Cro Cop, Tito Ortiz, Vitor Belfort, Rampage Jackson, Michael Bisping and Rich Franklin. It will be interesting to see how Bellator books him next year for his debut. Ortiz and Jackson are already under contract with Coker and it would be easy to book rematches and make them big events on Spike TV.

The downside to all of this is Silva will be 40 when he is eligible to fight next year. He was 3-4 in his last seven fights and clearly on the downside of this career. Silva could go fight in Japan with Rizin where he wouldn’t be bound to the suspension in Nevada but it would kill any chance of ever fighting again in the United States.

Silva was finally released from his UFC contract in February after apologizing for accusing the UFC of fixing fights. He had been a thorn in the side of Dana White for the past few years and they finally let him go where he ran to the waiting arms of Scott Coker.

Expect to see Silva at Bellator shows working as an ambassador for the promotion until he fights next May.