Fans of the glory days of the PRIDE promotion should be pumped up for this one -- Mirko Cro Cop will be taking on Wanderlei Silva for the third time at the Rizin 2016 Openweight Grand Prix Quarterfinals.
Cro Cop advanced to the quarterfinals by defeating Hyun Man Myung by submission via arm triangle choke, while Silva got to the quarterfinals because the promotion gave the fighter a bye into the quarterfinals.
The two competitors have already fought twice before, the first fight was a draw at PRIDE 20 in April 2002. Cro Cop won the second encounter by knockout at PRIDE Final Conflict 2006 in September 2006.
Silva hasn't competed in well over three years now, with his last bout being a knockout win over Brian Stann at UFC On Fuel TV 8 in March 2013. This fight will mark the first time Silva has competed since being suspended by USADA from refusing a drug test. USADA rules do not apply in Japan, so Silva is free to compete in Rizin.
The bout came about when Cro Cop called out Silva in a post-fight interview after Cro Cop defeated the aforementioned Myung, Silva met him in the ring and after both men spoke cut a few promos, the fight was made.
There is no word yet on how this bout will affect the brackets for the tournament, as Silva and Cro Cop were on opposite sides of the tournament. In fact, Cro Cop was set to fight Baruto in the quarterfinals, after Baruto defeated Kazuyuki Fujita in the opening round.
Rizin FF's second round is set for December 29 at the Saitama Super Arena from Saitama, Japan.