Next week, Wanderlei Silva will make his return to the combat sports arena for a grappling tag team match at Rizin Fighting Federation 3 on April 17th. The Brazilian will team up with Kiyoshi Tamura to take on Kazushi Sakuraba and Hideo Tokoro in the main event and is treating the bout as a tune-up for his return to MMA.
Silva spoke to Ariel Helwani on the latest edition of The MMA Hour (h/t Guilherme Cruz of MMA Fighting) and expressed his interest in a fight with street fighting sensation, Kimbo Slice.
“I want to make interesting fights,” Silva said. “In Bellator, one guy that I would love to fight is Kimbo. And I’m not going to the ground. I want to fight in his area. I want to do a good show, I want to give emotion to my fans. When I can’t do that I’m gonna really stop, but right now I feel good.”
Silva is still suspended by the Nevada Athletic Commission until 2017 for evading a drug test in 2014, although “The Axe Murderer” is campaigning for a fight this summer. It’s expected that Silva will compete at one of the Bellator events outside of Nevada, possibly at a schedueled UK PPV in July.
Kimbo Slice last fought at Bellator 149, which saw the former Ultimate Fighter contestant battle with Dhafir Harris in a bout that was ridiculed by the MMA community. Slice eventually earned a stoppage victory after “Dada 5000” collapsed in the third round due to exhaustion.
When speaking of Bellator, Silva was quick to praise former Strikeforce CEO Scott Coker, who has taken the promotion in a different direction since taking over the company from Bjorn Rebney in 2014.
“I like what (Scott Coker) and Mike (Kogan) are doing,” said Silva, explaining why he decided to sign a deal with Bellator. “They offered me really good money, more than what I received before in the other event. I like the numbers. It’s good for me, it’s good for them, it’s good for the fans, I’m gonna (come) back.”
Rizin FF 3, which will host Silva’s tag team match in the main event, will take place at the Nippon Gaishi Hall in Nagoya, Japan on April 17th.
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