Rizin boss interested in signing Anderson Silva: “I would like to help him fulfill his wishes”

Anderson Silva, UFC

Rizin Fighting Federation boss Nobuyuki Sakakibara is interested in signing former UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva to his promotion.

Silva last fought on Halloween night, when he was stopped by Uriah Hall. Shortly after this setback, he was released from the UFC roster, but he emphasized that he intends to continue fighting nonetheless.

As the former show runner of the defunct Japanese promotion Pride, Sakakibara has worked extensively with Silva before, and after the Brazilian legend’s UFC exit, he’d welcome the chance to do so again.

“I have great memories with Anderson Silva from the PRIDE days and in my personal opinion I think his career took off in Japan,” Sakakibara said in a statement that was also released to several MMA news outlets. “I have heard that Japan has a special part in his heart as well.

“I do feel that I would like to help him fulfill his wishes out of respect for what he as accomplished and what he has done for our sport. I haven’t talked to him yet but I would be interested to see if we can come up with something that makes sense for him to start his final chapter in Japan.”

Anderson Silva, now 45 years old, ruled over the UFC middleweight division from 2006 to 2013. During that time, he defended his title against the likes of Rich Franklin, Nate Marquardt, Dan Henderson, Patrick Cote, Thales Leites, Demian Maia, Chael Sonnen (twice), Vitor Belfort, and Yushin Okami. He also picked up light heavyweight wins over James Irvin, Forrest Griffin, and Stephan Bonnar.

More recently, Silva has fallen on hard times. The legend is 1-7 in his last seven fights, sandwiching a close decision win over Derek Brunson between losses to Chris Weidman (twice), Michael Bisping, Daniel Cormier, Israel Adesanya, Jared Cannonier and Hall.

If Silva signs with Rizin, who would you like to see him fight?

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