Earlier this month, Brazil’s Gazeta Do Povo reported that Bellator is hoping to make its debut in the MMA hotbed of Brazil with a fourth fight between MMA legends Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Wanderlei Silva. This report also included some quotes from Silva, who suggested he’d like to help the promotion fill the soccer stadium Arena da Baixada in his hometown of Curitiba.
“I’m going to be one of the headliners and I’m trying to put myself out there as a promoter, too,” Silva said in this report (translation via BloodyElbow). “I got the company, I got the venue, I’m in the main event. You only need to put the pieces together. You add both Pitbull brothers [Patricio Freire and Patricky Freire], who are doing well. You add our champion Rafael Carvalho and Goiti Yamauchi, who is also from Curitiba. Bellator is very interested in the Brazilian market and Curitiba would be the perfect place.”
Silva and Rampage have fought three times previously. Silva won the first two bouts, which occurred in the Pride ring, with brutal knockouts. Rampage won the third, which occurred inside the UFC’s Octagon, with a crushing knockout of his own.
Since their last bout, both fighters have been hot and cold, enduring some tough losses, but also enjoying some big wins.
In this timeframe, Silva has lost to Rich Franklin (twice), Chris Leben and Chael Sonnen, and defeated Michael Bisping, Cung Le, and Brian Stann.
Rampage, meanwhile, has had a much busier schedule, losing to Rashad Evans, Jon Jones, Ryan Bader, Glover Teixeira, Muhammed Lawal and Chael Sonnen, and besting Keith Jardine, Lyoto Machida, Matt Hamill, Joey Beltran, Christian M’Pumbu, Muhammed Lawal, Fabio Maldonado and Satoshi Ishii.
If Bellator were to stack its debut in Brazil with the top Brazilian fighters on its roster – including the legendary Wanderlei Silva – do you think they could fill a soccer stadium?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 3/7/2018.