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Wanderlei Silva vows to 'stomp the face' of his opponents in Rizin's open-weight tournament

The "Axe Murderer" believes that Rizin will soon be the biggest MMA organization in the world and wants to help the cause by knocking out opponents in the planned open-weight tournament.

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During the heydays of Pride, Wanderlei Silva built a legacy on destroying his opponents with brutal soccer kicks and stomps, techniques he had to relinquish when he moved back to the UFC after Pride's demise in 2007. Maybe that was part of the reason why the once-feared "Axe Murderer" struggled to keep up the success he had in Japan during his last run in the UFC.

However, when Pride follow-up organization Rizin FF holds its open-weight Grand Prix later this year, Silva will be allowed to use his two favorite weapons again. And he definitely intends to do so and find back to his old dominance, as he revealed during a recent press-conference in Japan.

"I'd like to ask for an open-weight division, to give the chance for every fighter in the world who believes they can come here and defeat Wanderlei Silva to try it. We have the most aggressive rules in the world, and under those rules I can fight anyone," Silva said (Transcription via "Stay ready, Wanderlei Silva is here! I will stomp the face of those who try to fight me, I will knock everyone out in this tournament. At open-weight, I'm ready to face anyone, from any weight."

Silva hasn't fought in an MMA bout since a spectacular win over Brian Stann in 2013, when he was still under contract with the UFC. The organization released the Brazilian slugger in January of this year, after he fled from a drug test in 2014, got punished with a life-long suspension (since reduced to three years, retroactive to May 2014) and accused the UFC of fixing fights, which he later apologized for saying.

Silva is under contract with Bellator at the moment, but allowed to fight for other promotions such as Rizin as well. He had his first match for the promotion in April, where he partnered with Kiyoshi Tamura in a tag-team grappling match against Kazushi Sakuraba and Hideo Tokoro, that ended in a draw.

Silva also promised during the presser that Rizin will be the biggest MMA organization in the world soon, just as Pride has once been.

"We have the best fighters, we have the best promoter, and will become the biggest promotion in the world soon."