Nobuyuki Sakakibara, the executive of RIZIN, has expressed his willingness to welcome Anderson Silva back to the ring in the future. Silva, known as 'The Spider,' has been absent from action since his bout with Jake Paul over a year ago. The fight, which headlined a Showtime pay-per-view event, ended in a unanimous decision loss for Silva, marking his first defeat since leaving the UFC in 2020.
While Silva has been dominant in MMA, he has focused on boxing since his departure from the UFC. However, he has indicated that he is not done competing in MMA and was reportedly in discussions with a Japanese MMA promotion earlier this year, widely speculated to be RIZIN.
In a recent interview with MMA Fighting, Sakakibara confirmed that talks with Silva had taken place, although a deal has not yet materialized. He expressed openness to working with Silva and other legendary fighters, emphasizing RIZIN's interest in providing a platform for iconic athletes to have a final fight that respects their legacy.
"Our doors are always open, we’re always here to listen," Sakakibara stated. "If things make sense, we’ll always put something together. We do have a relationship with Anderson. I can’t really talk about details, but if the opportunity is there and if it makes sense, we’re always open to making things happen."
Sakakibara also highlighted RIZIN's concept of showcasing legendary fighters and hinted at the possibility of creating matchups that would excite old-school fans. While no specific plans have been announced, Sakakibara's comments suggest that RIZIN is eager to explore opportunities with Silva and other iconic fighters in the future.