Former PRIDE champion Wanderlei Silva will return to the combat spotlight after signing on to compete under the Bare Knuckle FC banner, per a recent report by FanSided. Remember, Silva started his professional fighting career competing in the bare-knuckle organization, Brazilian Vale Tudo Fighting (BVF), back in 1996.
While there is no timetable for Silva’s BKFC debut, his signing is expected to be announced during the BKFC 8: Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva vs. Gabriel Gonzaga card next month.
Silva, 43, returned from a four-year hiatus back in 2017 only to lose to Chael Sonnen via decision at Bellator NYC. The Brazilian legend made another trip to the Bellator cage roughly one year later and ended up losing to Quinton “Rampage” Jackson via second-round TKO in a heavyweight bout. It was the first time “Axe Murderer” lost back-to-back MMA fights since a two-fight skid from 2008-2009.
While Silva hasn’t tasted victory since knocking out Brian Stann in 2013, the former UFC standout remains a popular name in combat sports. The Brazilian doesn’t quite pack the same punch that he once did, but Silva’s vicious punching power and willingness to throw caution to the wind should mix well with the carnage that bare knuckle boxing offers.
Silva now joins the likes of Antonio Silva, Gabriel Gonzaga, Artem Lobov, Chris Leben, Melvin Guillard, and Jason Knight as former UFC fighters to test their hand in BKFC. Only time will tell if “Axe Murderer” can rediscover his patented knockout ability when the gloves come back off.