UFC

Who Is Wanderlei Silva and Is He Really Going to Fight Mike Tyson?

The Mike Tyson comeback rumors just won’t go away. Tyson, the youngest boxer ever to be crowned heavyweight champion, is 53 years old and the talk of him entering the ring again continues to heat up. First, there were the rumors of a Tyson vs. Evander Holyfield third fight and the list grew from there. The latest is a bout featuring Tyson against MMA star Wanderlei Silva.

Wanderlei Silva is an MMA star

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Known as “The Axe Murderer,” Wanderlei Silva is a mixed martial artist who was competed in the UFC as well as Japan’s Pride Fighting Championships. He is the current record holder for most wins, knockouts, and title defenses in the Pride Fighting Championships. He is signed with Bellator MMA.

A 5-foot-11, 205-pound Brazilian-American, Silva joined UFC in 1998 in UFC Brazil and it wasn’t pretty for Silva. Silva was knocked out in 44 seconds by Vitor Belfort. Seven months later Silva bounced back with a knockout victory over Tony Petarra. Silva made his PRIDE debut in 1999 when he defeated Carl Malenko. That victory began a string of 18 straight wins that lasted into 2004.

In 2014, Silva was given a lifetime ban by the Nevada State Athletic Commission not complying with a drug test, according to MMA Junkie. The ban, however, was overturned by a Nevada court and was reduced to a three-year suspension. In 51 professional fights, Silva has a 35-14 record with one draw and one no contest.

Silva says he was offered $10 million to fight Mike Tyson

According to Boxing Scene, 43-year-old MMA fighter Wanderlei Silva said he was offered $10 million to step into the ring with Mike Tyson. “They offered me $10 million, plus pay-per-view percentage and I accepted immediately. I hope (Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship president David) Feldman can make it happen,” Silva said.

According to the article, Tyson has already turned down a $20 million offer to take part in a bare-knuckle fight. Feldman stated recently that he planned to up the offer to the former heavyweight boxing champion. Tyson has been busy working out and saying he’s like to return to the boxing ring to fight in some exhibition bouts for charity.

In an article in MMA Fighting, Feldman said Silva would be a great opponent for Tyson. “No matter how old Silva gets, he’s dangerous, and I think that would be an intriguing matchup. Something like that, but I don’t actually have anything in mind right now. First, I want to see if we can make the Mike thing happen, period, and then we’ll start talking opponents.”

Mike Tyson apparently just wants to box

While a bare-knuckle fight between Mike Tyson and MMA star Wanderlei Silva sounds intriguing, it may just all hype. While Silva said he had been offered $10 million to fight Tyson, getting Tyson to sign on the dotted line might be a difficult task.

MMA coach Rafael Cordeiro, who has been seen in some of Tyson’s training videos, said he’s not sure Tyson vs. Silva will be a go, especially in the form of a bare-knuckle brawl. Cordeiro said all of Tyson’s training has been done with boxing in mind.

“I didn’t get any calls from Wand or Tyson, but as far as I know that fight wont happen,” Cordeiro told Boxing Scene. “Tyson is training to make a boxing fight — with gloves. It is hard to comment about rumors.”