Wanderlei Silva has come out of retirement.
The former Pride FC legend has agreed to terms on a multi-year, multi-fight deal with Bellator MMA, which will put him back on to a professional fighting promotion after two years of retirement after his release from the UFC in January.
Silva, who is 39 years old, announced his retirement in 2014 while under a lifetime suspension from mixed martial arts for fleeing a random drug test ahead of a UFC 175 bout against Chael Sonnen.
The highly publicized situation led to the ban, which was eventually reversed, as a Nevada district court judge ruled the punishment excessive in May 2015. Silva was granted an amended three-year suspension at a February re-hearing with the Nevada Athletic Commission in May 2015.
Silva, (35-12-1, 1 NC) is allowed to return to active competition in the spring of 2017. He could potentially fight sooner though, especially given Bellator's ties to Rizin, the Japanese promotion led by former Pride FC boss Nobuyuki Sakakibara.
Rizin has expressed interest in Silva over recent months, and several fighters in the past like Vitor Belfort and Alexander Shlemenko. Both of those two passed on joining the promotion.
Regardless, it isn't likely that we will know a timetable for Silva to make his Bellator debut.
The Brazilian was one of the most ferocious fighters of his day, a renowned figure of the sport who gained international fame as the Pride FC middleweight champion during the heyday of the Japanese promotion. Silva last fought in March 2013, defeating Brian Stann via second-round knockout at UFC on Fuel TV 8.
Silva has defeated a wide array of world famous fighters, such as Quinton "Ramage" Jackson, Dan Henderson, Michael Bisping, Cung Le, Kazushi Sakuraba (x3), Ricardo Arona, and others.
What do you think?
Good move for Silva? Good move for Bellator?