In July, Wanderlei Silva (pictured) claimed he had “proof” that the UFC “fixes fights.” The UFC vehemently denied the allegations and fired back with a defamation lawsuit against the Brazilian, who at the time was serving a lifetime ban for running from a random drug test by the Nevada Athletic Commission.
Silva hasn’t made a peep since, until Thursday when he posted an apology on his verified Facebook page:
I Was Wrong, apologize.”In July of last year, I posted a number of comments on Facebook and Twitter, which included repeated claims that the UFC “fixed fights” and that I could “prove it.” I hereby retract any such statements in their entirety as I failed to understand that the term “fight-fixing” specifically refers to the illegal action or practice of dishonestly determining the outcome of a contest before it occurs. I understand the UFC’s reputation would be harmed if my fans and others actually believed the UFC engaged in fight fixing, and I have no evidence to support such a claim. I apologize for any misunderstanding my comments may have caused.”
Given the fact Silva’s English is bad, at best, his legal team clearly pieced the statement together on his behalf. But why?
In steps MMAJunkie.com’s Steven Marrocco, who is reporting the UFC has finally released Silva from his contract. Clearly, Silva recanting his accusation was the focal point of them allowing Silva to become a free agent.
Silva was slated to face bitter rival Chael Sonnen at UFC 175. However, when the NAC sprung a surprise drug test on him at his gym in Las Vegas, Silva bolted out the back door and never looked back.
As far as the NSAC is concerned, a skipped test is a failed test.
“The Axe Murderer” claimed the reason he didn’t oblige to the random drug exam was because it was accompanied with paperwork that he wasn’t prepared to sign without his attorney present, primarily because the documents were in English.
Silva later admitted he had taken diuretics and anti-inflammatories to treat a wrist injury.
Instead of going back-and-forth with the NSAC to clear his name and obtain a license, Silva subsequently announced his retirement from MMA, ripping the UFC for disrespect on the way out.
The NAC issued Silva a lifetime ban, as well as a $70,000 fine. The Nevada district court overturned the NAC’s punishment in May, allowing Silva the opportunity to once again stand before the NAC to plead his case.
While Silva may still do that, now that he’s been freed from the UFC, it’s likely he’ll just bounce back to Japan where he made his claim to MMA fame, and more importantly, where a license from the NAC isn’t required to fight.
Fedor Emelianenko vs. Wanderlei Silva, anyone?