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RIZIN open to signing Anderson Silva ‘out of respect’ for his accomplishments

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“I would like to help him fulfill his wishes” - RIZIN president Nobuyuki Sakakibara.

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UFC Fighter Portraits Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Ladies and gentlemen, we finally have a hit. After supposed “rejections” from Bellator, PFL, ONE Championship, and BKFC most recently, one organization expressed willingness to sign the aging Anderson Silva.

In a recent interview with MyMMANews, RIZIN founder and president Nobuyuki Sakakibara explained why he’s opening his company’s doors for the 45-year-old “Spider.”

“I have great memories with Anderson Silva during the PRIDE days and in my personal opinion, I think his career took off in Japan. I have heard that Japan has a special part in his heart as well,” Sakakibara said.

“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.”

Before he began making a name for himself in the west, Silva fought for two years in Japan under the PRIDE banner. In that short stint, he had notable fights against Alex Stiebling, Carlos Newton, and of course, the flying scissor heel hook highlight courtesy of Ryo Chonan.

Silva last competed on Halloween night against Uriah Hall and lost via fourth-round TKO. He is currently on a three-fight skid.