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Wanderlei Silva challenges Vitor Belfort to Bare Knuckle fight: ‘I want to see if he’s a man’

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21 years later, Pride, Bellator and UFC veteran Wanderlei Silva still has not given up on rematching Vitor Belfort after the ‘Phenom’ knocked him out in 44 seconds back at UFC Brazil in October 1998. However, now that the ‘Axe Murderer’ has been released from his Bellator contract, he would like to take on his rival under a now promotion – Bare Knuckle FC.

According to a report by FanSided, the 43-year-old has signed a contract with the promotion, but no fights involving Wanderlei were announced yet. In an interview with Ag Fight, Silva, said he was invited to watch one of the promotion’s upcoming events, and finds the concept interesting.

“About Bare Knuckle, I was invited to make an appearance there. I was invited to watch Gabriel ‘Napao’ (Gonzaga) fight Antonio ‘Pezao’ (Bigfoot Silva). They pull some interesting numbers. I think I have finally found the perfect stage to settle all my beefs in the sport. You can only use your hands in bare knuckle boxing.”

In the original season of The Ultimate Fighter Brazil, Wanderlei Silva and Vitor Belfort were opposing head coaches for the season’s teams and were supposed to face each other at the show’s finale. But Belfort was forced off the card due to a broken hand and the two were never paired up again. Now, Silva would like to try and make the rematch happen under Bare Knuckle FC’s banner.

“Here’s the challenge I wanted to have at Bare Knuckle. I sent one of the promoters an audio clip, they’re offering quite the amount, an impressive amount of cash, more than what I’m making. I told them I really wanted to fight, but against a particular guy. I would accept if I could face Vitor Belfort. Bare knuckles, five two-minute rounds, only boxing. I want to see if he’s a man or if he’ll run. We found the right place to settle one of the sport’s oldest rivalries. What’s up, Vitor? Are you in or are you going to run?”

Currently on a two-fight skid, Wanderlei Silva (35-14-1-1 NC) was TKO’d by another old rival in Quinton Jackson, at Bellator 206, back in September 2018 in a fight that took place in the heayweight division. Before the loss, the 43-year-old dropped an unanimous decision to Chael Sonnen, in June 2017, whom he also coached against in the third season of TUF Brazil.

Silva’s last win dates back to March 2013, when he knocked out Brian Stann at UFC on Fuel TV 8, in Saitama, Japan.

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