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Wanderlei Silva Signs With Bellator, Celebratory Shakycam Video Surely On Its Way

(You see, Dana? All you had to do was occassionally buy the man a cake and EVERYTHING WOULD HAVE BEEN FINE BETWEEN YOU TO.)

The past few years have been a roller coaster of emotions for Wanderlei Silva, to put it simply. In his last octagon appearance, the former PRIDE middleweight champion engaged in an all out barnburner with Brian Stann at UFC on FUEL 8, dusting the Marine with a hellacious combination in the third round of their ”Fight of the Year” contender. Then…he got booked opposite Chael Sonnen as a coach on the third season of TUF Brazil and everything went to sh*t.

Things began to pick up for Silva back in May, more or less, when a Nevada District Judge reversed the lifetime ban the NSAC had slapped him with for skipping out on his UFC 175 drug test. Last month, Wanderlei (or at least, his lawyer) was given a second hearing with the Nevada State Athletic Commission, resulting in the ban being reduced to three years retroactive to the time of his infraction.

Now a (relatively) free man who also happened to be released from his UFC contract contract in January, there was really only one career option left for “The Axe Murderer” to make up for lost time: Immediately un-retiring and signing with Bellator. And according to a press release sent out by Bellator this morning (via MMAJunkie), that’s precisely what Silva did:

The 39-year-old Silva (35-12-1 MMA, 5-7 UFC), the promotion today announced, has signed an exclusive multi-fight, multi-year deal. The signing appeared to be an inevitability after Bellator President Scott Coker said recently that the promotion was having serious talks with the former UFC standout and PRIDE champion about coming out of retirement.

It is not yet known what weight class Silva will be competing at, but if we were to hazard a guess based on this image, we’d have to say “DadBodweight” (or maybe Franklinweight). He’ll fit right in at Bellator, that’s for sure.

Now, an interesting caveat in Wanderlei’s ban, according to the ever-trustworthy folks at Wikipedia, is that it won’t prevent him from ”competing at Indian Casinos or in Japan,” so even though he isn’t technically allowed to compete until May 25th, 2017, we could very well see him step into the cage before that date. He is nearing 40, after all, and upstart Japanese promotion Rizin has expressed interest in potentially booking him against Fedor Emelianenko in the near future, which falls into definitive “would watch” category of fights for the vast majority of MMA fans.

In any case, “The Axe Murderer” is back. Someone tell Lenne Hardt to start warming up those legendary pipes.

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