Ready for a throwback fight? It looks like Rampage Jackson vs. Wanderlei Silva 4 is set to take place this Fall in Bellator MMA.
It looks like Wanderlei Silva vs. Rampage Jackson 4 is happening — just not in Brazil. After talk of the fight headlining Bellator’s Brazilian debut fizzled, ‘The Axe Murderer’ announced Wednesday that he’ll be facing Jackson anyway — in California on September 29. Although no official announcement has been made, Bellator do have a press conference scheduled next week to unveil a new distribution deal, and it’s likely the fight will be announced at the same time.
Silva, however, was more than happy to spoil the surprise on social media, posting messages to Twitter and Facebook announcing his return to action. On Jackson’s birthday, no less (Rampage turns 40 today).
É com muita honra que anúncio meu retorno ao MMA, no dia 29 de Setembro na Califórnia, farei o Main Event do @bellatormma contra @rampage4real será o nosso 4º combate, estou muito feliz com meu retorno e… https://t.co/iBYfg6SwAL
— Wanderlei Silva (@wandfc) June 20, 2018
“It is with great honor that I announce my return to MMA, on September 29th in California,” Silva’s statement read. “I will do the Bellator MMA Main Event against @ rampage4real it will be our 4th match, I am very happy with my return and it will undoubtedly be a great show for everyone you guys” he added (translated).
Brazil’s Silva also posted an accompanying video to Facebook, including clips from he and Jackson’s past encounters.
Silva (35–13–1 (1)) twice defeated Jackson in Pride, both times finishing ‘Rampage’ with knees. Their first meeting in 2003 ended after 17 (!) consecutive knees; the rematch in 2004 infamously ended with a knee to the head that sent Jackson crashing onto the ring ropes, dangling unconscious as Silva celebrated. A third fight, in the UFC in 2008 at UFC 92, saw Jackson finally get his revenge, knocking out Silva in the first round.
In recent years, both men have hit a slump, with Silva arguably worse off. The Brazilian was handed a lengthy suspension by NSAC after dodging a drug test prior to UFC 175 in 2014. After being handed an initial lifetime ban from the sport, Silva’s punishment was reduced, though he would not return to action until June 2017 in Bellator. There, he suffered a unanimous decision loss at the hands of another rival, Chael Sonnen.
Jackson (37–13), meanwhile, had managed to string together a five fight win streak between the UFC and Bellator between 2013 and 2016, all while feuding with both promotions at various points. However, he has dropped two straight fights to King Mo and Sonnen, each via decision. The most recent loss to Sonnen at Bellator 192 in January also saw him bounced from Bellator’s World Heavyweight Grand Prix.