PHOTO | First look at “The Axe Murderer” in Bellator MMA gloves

PHOTO | First look at “The Axe Murderer” in Bellator MMA gloves

Former PRIDE champion Wanderlei Silva will return to the cage this summer when he clashes with bitter rival Chael Sonnen at Madison Square Garden in the headlining bout of “Bellator NYC” on June 24.

“The Axe Murderer’s” highly anticipated bout with Sonnen will mark his first scrap under the Bellator banner, as well as his first fight since March of 2013 when he knocked out Brian Stann in Japan.

Bellator MMA released the following photo of a shirtless Wanderlei Silva sporting the promotions gloves earlier today:

FIRST LOOK at the 'Axe Murderer' @wandfc in #BellatorMMA gloves! #BellatorNYC : @lucasnoonan

A post shared by Bellator MMA (@bellatormma) on

“Bellator NYC” will mark only the second pay-per-view in Bellator history. Bellator staged its only previous pay-per-view event in May of 2014, shortly before CEO Scott Coker took over the promotion.

“We always said that when we come to New York, we’ll bring the biggest and the best fight card we’ve ever had in the history of this company,” Coker told the AP. “We’re putting it together, and our roster is robust enough that we feel like it’s time to get into the pay-per-view business, so here we go.”

Chael Sonnen made his debut with Bellator this past November, where he suffered a submission loss to MMA legend Tito Ortiz.

Tito Ortiz Chael Sonnen John McCarhty bellator 170

Sonnen had the following to say about fighting in New York City:

“New York is a big deal for a lot of people,” Sonnen said. “I’m a big deal for New York.”

As for Wanderlei Silva, the MMA legend is eager to get back in the cage after a four year hiatus from the sport.

Silva has alternated between wins and losses over his past six fights, going 3-3 in those contests.

“The Axe Murderer” will now make his highly anticipated Bellator debut under the grand lights of Madison Square Garden.

Who do you think will emerge victorious when Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva throw down in the headlining bout of “Bellator NYC” on June 24 at Madison Square Garden in New York? Sound off PENN Nation!

This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM