Wanderlei Silva to compete at RIZIN FF
By Edward Cabajal
Rizin Fighting Federation (RIZIN FF) the Japanese promotion that featured Fedor Emelianenko’s return to MMA has announced the signing of Wanderlei Silva (35-12-1, 1 NC). Silva spent most of his years fighting in Japan so it should be no surprise that the president of RIZIN FF is the former president of Pride Fighting Championships (Pride FC) Nobuyuki Sakakibara.
Silva is signed to a multi-year promotional contract, as well as the first two bouts. One of which will feature Silva, for its second live event that will take place at the 10,000 capacity Nippon Gaishi Hall in Nagoya, Japan on Sunday, April 17 billed as “TOP Presents Rizin Fighting Federation 1”. To welcome him his first match will be a special grappling match against his former Pride FC rival and MMA legend, Kazushi Sakuraba (26-17-1, 2 NC) in what is being called a “tag match” that will feature two-on-two submission grappling. The rules of the match will be announced soon but, Sakuraba will be paired with Hideo Tokoro (33-28-2), who fought most recently at Rizin FF’s New Year’s Eve show. Fans might remember a fight he had with L.C. Davis at Bellator 135 that was candidate for “fight of the year” in 2015.
Silva’s partner has not been announced but he is happy to be back working with the people that helped build his career and made a video thanking fans for his return to Japan.
Also on the card is Hisaki Kato (5-2) in an MMA bout against Yuta “Andre” Watanabe (19-6-4). Kato holds a 100% knock-out rate and made his US debut as an underdog when he finished Joe Schilling at Bellator 139 last year. Additional bouts will be announced soon.
Edward Carbajal is a contributing writer for MMA at Page2sports.com and Frontproof Media. You can follow Edward on Twitter @Carbazel or at his website TheBlogBoardJungle.com. Check out his podcast on Spreaker.