Andre Dida is one of those guys that most of us know from our time staying up super late to watch Japanese events from here in the United States and rightfully so. Dida cut his teeth in Brazil before being called up by K-1 for their HERO*s organization, where he took place in their first Lightweight GP. Dida, who was a relative unknown to Japanese fans at the time, made it all the way to the Finals. From there he went on to appear in DREAM as well as K-1 MAX.
His K-1 MAX stint was weird, to say the least, as K-1 threw him to the wolves early on, so to speak. His first fight was a crazy KO, so then he was moved up in competition. When I say moved up, I mean that his second K-1 fight was against Buakaw Banchamek (then Por. Pramuk). What was crazy was that he nailed Buakaw with some great shots, Buakaw was a king at the time. Buakaw went on to win via decision in an extra round, but Dida earned some serious respect there. He had two more fights in K-1 after that, both of which were still steep climbs up the talent ranks, against Yuichiro Nagashima and Hinata Watanabe.
Dida announced his return today, claiming that he not only wanted to come back to MMA, but to Kickboxing. I'm not sure that he'd be able to just jump right into the deep waters at 70kg right away, but if GLORY or K-1 were to pick him up they'd be able to build him up until he's comfortable and see where he stands, at least. Dida is planning this comeback with Champions Sports Management based out of Stoney Creek, Ontario, a brand of House of Champions gym, headed by Alin Halmagean and Nenad Kuruc.