Bellator light heavyweight and PRIDE legend Wanderlei Silva has told assembled press in Japan he is looking forward to “stomping some faces” at the RIZIN tournament in Japan, and that they will soon be the biggest MMA promotion in the world.
Wanderlei Silva became an icon in mixed martial arts through his time at PRIDE Fighting Championships in Japan. His all-action ‘Bezerker’ style of fighting earned him many plaudits, with many regarding him as the most feared individual in the sport.
His unbeaten winning streak in the promotion saw him inflict some of the most brutal knockouts in MMA history, including many that featured his renowned ‘soccer kicks’ and head-stomps. Of course, that all changed when he went to America and back to the UFC, where kicks to a downed opponent are deemed illegal.
Presently, Silva is barred from competing in the United States, despite being under contract with Bellator, due to a missed drugs test. But he will fight in Japan at RIZIN’s openweight tournament on New Year’s Eve, and he believes the relaxation of the rules will be a decisive factor in his favour:
“Any fighter willing to fight me will get stomped in the face and kicked in the head.”
“I’d like to ask for an open-weight division, to give the chance for every fighter in the world who believes they can come here and defeat Wanderlei Silva to try it. We have the most aggressive rules in the world, and under those rules I can fight anyone.
“Stay ready, Wanderlei Silva is here! I will stomp the face of those who try to fight me, I will knock everyone out in this tournament. At open-weight, I’m ready to face anyone, from any weight.”
The first round of bouts will take place in September, with the finals to take place at the end of the year. Silva is the only fighter whose participation is so far confirmed.