The UFC have filed a lawsuit against Wanderlei Silva for ‘Intentional Misconduct’ after continually being targeted with outspoken criticism and accusations by the veteran fighter.
The UFC are seeking undisclosed punative damages for defamation, $10,000 for damages related to disparagement in addition to the cost of attorney fees.
‘The Axe-Murderer’ has been at odds with the UFC since being indefinitely suspended from the sport by NSAC after he ran out on a random drugs test last year. Silva retired after that, but has since went from seemingly being a loyal UFC fighter to being arguably the most outspoken critic of the company.
Along the way he’s accused them of many things, but while the UFC have largely turned the other cheek it appears he crossed the line last week when he suggested that the company had fixed fights.
“Over the past year, Silva has continued to criticize Zuffa, its owners and executive officers, and the (Nevada State Athletic Commission),” Zuffa attorney Colby Williams of Las Vegas-based Campbell & Williams wrote in the filing for the lawsuit. “While Zuffa has monitored Silva’s remarks, the company has largely dismissed Silva’s attacks as the misguided rants of a disgruntled ex-fighter. Silva’s latest outburst, however, indisputably crossed the line and necessitates swift legal redress.”
“Simply put, one of the most damning and damaging allegations to the reputation of a fight promoter like Zuffa is to brand it a fight-fixer.”
Zuffa’s legal team are claiming that Silva’s comments have been particularly damaging in his native Brazil, a major market for the UFC.
“The damage from Silva’s statements is not limited to this country. The UFC organization is a global brand with a significant presence in many foreign countries. Chief among them is Brazil where the UFC has promoted numerous events throughout the country, has a local office in Sao Paulo, and is contracted with numerous Brazilian fighters. Silva is a native of Brazil. Accordingly, his comments in Portuguese (Brazil’s native language) are particularly damaging in Brazil given the UFC’s large pool of fighters and fan base located there.
It’s been sad and frankly frustrating to watch Silva’s fall from grace over the past year, going from one of the most destructive fighters ever seen in the cage, to one of the most self-destructive out of it, at least in terms of his reputation.