by MMAWeekly.com
EliteXC on Thursday announced that it recently signed Antonio “Big Foot” Silva and Murilo “Ninja” Rua to long-term contract extensions. Terms of the deals were not disclosed.

The re-signing of Silva and Rua brings to five the number of well-known fighters who have re-signed or signed with EliteXC in the past several weeks. The others include Jake Shields, Nick Diaz, and Kimbo Slice.

“We’ve always said there is more than one brand out there,” EliteXC Live Events President Gary Shaw said. “The fact that so many fighters stay with us speaks volumes and is testament to what we are all about.”

Silva dominated Jonathan Wiezorek in his last start, registering an impressive 3:12, first-round submission (rear naked choke) on the Nov. 10 “Renegade” event in Corpus Christi, Texas.

“I believe Silva is the No. 1 heavyweight in the world, which is why I wanted to make sure he stayed with us,” Shaw said. “If there is a UFC heavyweight or, for that matter, any heavyweight out there that feels they are the best then lets make a match.

“We can do the fight in an Octagon, in the EliteXC cage or any venue. I truly believe ‘Big Foot’ will kick any heavyweight’s butt and look forward to giving him the opportunity to do it.”

Rua overcame a slow start to regain his winning ways with a second-round submission (rear naked choke) over France’s willing Xavier Foupa-Pokam on “EliteXC Presents: Cage Rage 24” in London.

“Ninja is an exciting fighter who is coming off a great victory in Cage Rage,” Shaw said. “Ninja will forever be remembered for being the first EliteXC world champion, but we all know he wants more and another shot at the world belt.”

“EliteXC has treated me very well and I am excited to be able to remain part of their family,” Rua said. “I am looking forward to getting back in the cage again and regaining my title.

“A lot of other organizations give up on their fighters, but not EliteXC and I appreciate that very much.”