Former Pride champion and mixed martial arts legend Wanderlei Silva inked a contract with Bellator MMA in March 2016. He’ll fight for the first time for the promotion on June 24 against Chael Sonnen in the Bellator NYC main event. The event, at Madison Square Garden, will be the organization’s second pay-per-view fight card.
Silva retired amidst a battle with the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) over his fleeing from a random drug test in relation to a scheduled bout with Sonnen in 2014 under the UFC banner. He was originally banned for life and fined $70,000 by the commission, but a court ruled that the commission had overstepped its bounds by issuing such a severe penalty and ordered it to reconsider the case.
Quinton “Rampage” Jackson – who headlines the Bellator 175 fight card on Friday – has a long history with Silva. Silva owns two knockout wins over Jackson from their Pride days. Jackson got his revenge at UFC 93, knocking out Silva in their third meeting. Now that they are back in the same promotion, Jackson is willing to face Silva to settle old scores and even the scorecard.
“I’m always interested in fighting Wanderlei,” said Jackson during the Bellator 175 media conference call. “I think I owe him two more (expletive) beatings to be on top of him.”