Nobuyuki Sakakibara says it would ‘make sense’ for Anderson Silva to finish his career fighting in Japan
Anderson Silva is now a free agent. Numerous promotions including ONE Championship, the PFL and Bellator have made it clear they won’t be signing the former UFC middleweight champion.
But one destination looks increasingly viable for Silva. Rizin CEO Nobuyuki Sakakibara has publicly stated that he would like to sign the Brazilian,
“I have great memories with Anderson Silva from the Pride days and in my personal opinion I think his career took off in Japan. I have heard that Japan has a special place in his heart as well. I do feel that I would like to help him fulfill his wishes out of respect for what he has 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.”
During his peak Silva was widely regarded as being the best pound for pound fighter on the planet. He registered 16 consecutive UFC wins and held the promotion’s middleweight title for seven years.
But with only one win in his last nine fights Silva’s stock has fallen. He is coming off a defeat to Urijah Hall at UFC Vegas 12 in what was the final fight in his contract.
Silva fought five times for Pride, winning three of those fights. He also appeared twice on Shooto cards but has not fought in Japan since 2004.