Bellator MMA and Wanderlei Silva are going to try this one more time.
Silva will be in attendance at the promotion’s upcoming Fan Fest event at Dave and Buster’s in Houston on Feb. 18 ahead of Bellator 149. “The Axe Murderer” was previously slated to attend a similar event ahead of Bellator 131 in November 2014, but contractual obligations with the UFC ultimately nixed those plans.
This time, the 39-year-old Brazilian should be free and clear. The UFC released Silva from his contract last month shortly after the Pride veteran apologized for making claims that the Las Vegas-based promotion fixed fights. While his next destination is currently unknown, Silva is able to pursue offers from other organizations.
According to a release from Bellator MMA, Silva is “currently one of the biggest free agents in the sport” and “may soon return to action.” Silva was handed a lifetime ban by the Nevada Athletic Commission for avoiding an out-of-competition drug test ahead of UFC 175. Silva announced his retirement shortly after the ruling, which was later overturned by a Nevada district court judge. The Pride Fighting Championships veteran must appear before the NAC for a rehearing on the matter.
In the past, notables such as Ken Shamrock, Royce Gracie, Fedor Emelianenko, Randy Couture and Kurt Angle have attended the Fan Fest event. Shamrock and Gracie have since signed with the Scott Coker-led promotion and will fight for a third time in the Bellator 149 headliner. Silva has not competed since knocking out Brian Stann in March 2013.
Along with Silva, Angle, Liam McGeary, Tito Ortiz and Phil Davis are expected to attend the latest Fan Fest.