In rather surprising move, or unsurprising depending on your view of Bellator MMA, the company has signed former PRIDE champion and UFC fighter Wanderlei “The Axe Murderer” Silva to an exclusive multi-fight and multi-year deal. The deal was announced today though do not expect to see Silva inside the Bellator cage any time soon.
Silva is currently serving a three years suspension handed down to him by the Nevada State Athletic commission for ducking a drug test prior to a bout against Chael Sonnen scheduled for UFC 175. Silva was initially banned for life but that was later reduced to the current three year ban and he was also fined $70,000.
The suspension for Silva is retroactive to the date of the initial incident which was May of 2014. He is eligible to return to action in May of 2017 provided that he can pass a drug test.
Though he has remained out of action since 2013, Silva has not been out of the public eye. He has engaged in a rather ugly war of words with the UFC and accused the company of fixing fights.
Until he can actually compete inside the cage, Silva will make appearances during Bellator’s fan fests and other promotional events.