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K-1 veteran, MMA coach Andre Dida to make in-ring return with Rizin

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Andre Dida will fight under the Rizin Fighting Federation banner in 2018.
Guilherme Cruz, MMA Fighting

CURITIBA, Brazil — Andre Dida is back.

Leader of Evolucao Thai team in Brazil, Dida told MMA Fighting he has agreed to return to mixed martial arts by the end of the year under the Rizin Fighting Federation banner in Japan.

The date and opponent are yet to be confirmed, but Rizin 14 is planned for Dec. 31 at the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.

”I’m preparing to fight by the end of the year in Rizin,” Dida said. “I already have an opponent in mind, so I’m getting my body ready and losing weight. Coming back wasn’t in my plans, but it’s a good fight. I’m in a good moment in my life, my gym is doing great, and fighting is cool.”

Dida currently coaches the likes of former Bellator champion Rafael Carvalho and UFC fighters Sergio Moraes, Joaquim Silva and Francisco Trinaldo in Curitiba, Brazil, but will put the gloves on for his fight MMA fight since 2010.

A former coach at Chute Boxe, Dida hasn’t entered a MMA ring since a decision loss to K.J. Noons at DREAM 13, leaving the sport in a four-fight skid against Gesias Cavalcante, Eddie Alvarez, Katsunori Kikuno and Noons.

Dida last competed under Ganryujima rules in 2016, knocking out Vitali Krat. The Curitiba-native also competed six times as a professional kickboxer under the K-1 banner between 2006 and 2014, including a war with Buakaw Por. Pramuk.

”I have a good age, 34, and I still have some wood to burn,” Dida said. “I can use my experience in my favor now. If I had the head I have now back in the day, I’d still be fighting and would definitely be in the UFC or other major promotion today.”