Wanderlei Silva signs “multi-year, multi-fight” contract with Bellator MMA

By Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

Bellator MMA had no interest in free agents Alistair Overeem or Aljamain Sterling when they finished out their UFC deals, but they’ve signed another fighter recently released from his contract: Wanderlei Silva.

The organization announced on Wednesday that they’ve signed “The Axe Murderer” to a multi-year contract, multi-fight contract, bringing him out of retirement.

Of course, there’s one particular issue not addressed in Bellator’s press release, that being the fact Silva is under suspension from the Nevada Athletic Commission through May of 2017. Silva was originally handed a lifetime ban for skipping out on a 2014 drug test prior to a planned fight with Chael Sonnen, but got that reduced to three years after a judge struck down the initial term.

Silva’s attorney plans to bring their appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court on the grounds that the commission didn’t have jurisdiction to test him in the first place, but for now the suspension stands until next year.

Penick’s Analysis: It was clear Silva was going to fight again when he had the opportunity, and it shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone at all that Bellator is going to give him the platform. The question now becomes when they book him, and whether or not they attempt to do so before the suspension is lifted.

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