Wanderlei Silva has finally been granted his wish to be released by the UFC, but that doesn’t mean we should expect to see him fighting again any time soon.
Silva retired in September of 2014 citing his dissatisfaction with the UFC as the main reason and has continued to attack the promotion since, accusing them of underpaying fighters, limiting their opportunities to make additional money, treating them like slaves and he’s even made allegations of fight-fixing.
Needless to say that led to a frosty relationship with the UFC who refused to release him from his current contract and threatened him with a lawsuit, but it seems that they’ve finally reached an agreement to settle the matter.
The exact terms of the agreement have not been released, but it seems that at least part of it was that Silva had to issue a public apology for his past comments about the UFC’s involvement in fight fixing.
“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,” Silva wrote on Facebook. “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.”
So, Silva is now a free agent, but there’s always been a sense that the legendary Brazilian fighters feud with the UFC has always been something of a side issue to ‘The Axe Murderer’s’ real problem, which is that just a few months prior to his retirement announcement in 2014 he was slapped with a lifetime ban from competing in MMA by the Nevada State Athletic Commission due to having fled a random drug test.
Silva has been battling against that ruling, and indeed has been successful in that regard with a judge overruling it in May of this year who declared that there was a lack of evidence to lay down a lifetime ban, but he still awaits a new hearing with NSAC to establish a more suitable punishment.
That hearing has been delayed a number of times in the months since, with it currently being set to take place in February.
Until that takes place Silva, who’ll turn 40 in July, won’t be able to fight, at least in the U.S.