Former PRIDE champ and UFC veteran Wanderlei Silva appears to be trying to put a very ambitious fight night together on Mike Tyson’s ranch. Whether the fighters on his fantasy card are ready might be another matter.
Silva, 44, on Sunday teased an event on his official Instagram page featuring a trio of big rematches: His long-awaited meeting with Vitor Belfort; Tito Ortiz vs. Rashad Evans; and Fabricio Werdum vs. Fedor Emelianenko. All of the fighters were tagged, and Tyson’s old rival, Evander Holyfield, got notice.
The event, billed as “Fight Club After Dark,” promised “live MMA like never before on Tyson Ranch” to be “recorded live for pay-per-view” with two “high-profile” prelim fights and “special musical guests.” It reportedly was set for Nov. 21 in Desert Hot Springs, Calif., site of Tyson’s property, a 400-acre marijuana farm and resort that previously hosted a media day for fighters repped by Dominance.
Only hours after posting it, Silva deleted the event poster altogether.
In a separate Instagram post, Silva’s longtime coach Rafael Cordeiro, who is training Mike Tyson for his upcoming exhibition boxing match with Roy Jones Jr. on Nov. 28, chats with Tyson Ranch CEO Rob Hickman, who shows the event poster he appears to be working on, and then asks Belfort about it.
“Let’s make this (Silva) fight happen, man,” Cordeiro tells Belfort, who answers, “It’s about to happen, it’s in the oven, it’s cooking. Let’s do the rematch of the century. You’ll get the best fight of the century.”
“The Axe Murderer” has talked up a transition to MMA promoting in the past, saying he was co-promoting his fourth fight with rival Quinton Jackson in Brazil under the Bellator banner before the fight card was moved stateside. Jackson stopped him for the second time at Bellator 206 in Silva’s most recent appearance in September 2018.
Since then, Silva has had some terrible luck outside the cage. In June, he was hit by a car and suffered a fractured foot. But he didn’t give up on competing, and he almost got a massive opportunity when Bare Knuckle Fighting Championships pitched him as an opponent for Tyson.
The event, if it took place, would fall on the same date at UFC 255, which features two title bouts: Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Cody Garbrandt and Valentina Shevchenko vs. Jennifer Maia.
The stiff competition – and massive salaries – of the fight card would be quite something to behold if something more than just a muse.