Wanderlei Silva’s run as a Bellator fighter has come to an end as his contract with the promotion has expired, sources told MMA Fighting on Tuesday.
A former champion in Pride between 2001 and 2007, “The Axe Murderer” joined Bellator in 2017 after a long dispute with the UFC. Matched-up against longtime rivals Chael Sonnen and Quinton "Rampage" Jackson in 2017 and 2018, Silva couldn’t secure a win in the Bellator circular cage.
The legendary fighter, who competed 51 times as a professional MMA fighter with an overall record of 35-14-1-1 including many Vale-Tudo fights with no gloves in the 1990's in Brazil, revealed months after his TKO loss to “Rampage” Jackson in Sept. 2018 that he has several concussion-like symptoms. After that interview, Bellator president Scott Coker told MMA Fighting he wouldn’t give Silva a fight without “complete clearance” from brain specialists.
Even though his career in Bellator has lasted only two bouts, it doesn’t seem like Silva is done from competing. According to multiple sources, the veteran MMA star is in talks with Bare Knuckle FC for a potential deal. FanSided reported that Silva has signed with BKFC.
“The Axe Murderer” will be in attendance at BKFC’s next event in Tampa, Fla., on Oct. 19, when fellow UFC veterans Antonio "Bigfoot" Silva and Gabriel Gonzaga meet in a heavyweight bare knuckle main event.