On September 29th, ten years removed from their trilogy matchup, bitter rivals and MMA legends Wanderlei Silva and Quinton Jackson will fight once again, this time under the Bellator banner. Silva leads the series 2-1, having knocked out Jackson twice in PRIDE while “Rampage” knocked Silva out in the UFC.
The 2018 edition will see both men in their 40s and competing at heavyweight instead of light heavyweight. Silva’s coach, Andre Dida, believes that Rampage doesn’t have what it takes to win an all-out brawl with the Brazilian.
“We know he likes to brawl, and that’s great for the fans, who will watch a great fight, and for Wanderlei, because the style matches up well for him,” Dida said (via MMA Fighting). “Wanderlei has many weapons to beat Quinton Jackson. Every time Quinton Jackson tried to break Wanderlei standing, Wanderlei went there and broke him. He always tries to go toe-to-toe and ends up dying. We know what to do. Wanderlei is aggressive, everybody knows that, and we’ll keep him at his best for the fight.”
“We know what went wrong,” Dida said of the 2008 loss to “Rampage”. “Wanderlei fought in a way and Quinton Jackson fired back. If Quinton Jackson does that again, we’ll catch him. Wanderlei Silva is hungry. It’s a new fight. Wanderlei is happy, living and training in Brazil again, and we’ll make sure he has his hands raised in the end.”
As for his prediction on this fight, he backs Silva to get the job done in a round.
“I think it’s a one-round fight,” Dida said. “Wanderlei Silva’s hands are quick. We couldn’t show much against Sonnen, but when he did he knocked him down. Wanderlei’s timing is great, and I can get his best in the gym. Speed, knees, aggressiveness. ‘Rampage’s’ style favors us.”
“We’re doing everything to have him sharp for the fight,” he added. “We also know ‘Rampage’ can try to wrestle him during the fight, but we have plenty of time to get him ready for all areas. Wanderlei Silva has heavy hands. He touches and the guy goes down.”
Bellator MMA’s September 29th event will also feature a champ vs. champ showdown between welterweight king Rory MacDonald and middleweight titleholder Gegard Mousasi. A press conference featuring these fighters and many others is set for June 26th in New York City.
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