A Las Vegas judge has overturned a 2014 ruling by the Nevada State Athletic Commission that saw Wanderlei Silva being handed a lifetime ban from the sport.

The judge acknowledged that NSAC have juristiction over the fighter in this instance, but that there wasn’t enough evidence to prevent him from competing ever again.

Silva was handed the punishment after he fled from a random drug test prior to his fight with Chael Sonnen at UFC 175 and it quickly led to him announcing his retirement from the sport.

Silva later confessed that he was using an illegal substance at the time, but claimed it was just a diuretic to help heal a wrist injury.

Despite yesterday’s ruling, the 38 year-ol Silva is still a long way from ever finding his way back to fighting again.

For one thing, Silva would have to go before NSAC again to establish a new punishment due to the fact that the judge only disagreed with the lifetime ban, but not the fact that the veteran fighter should receive some other sanction for his actions.

Beyond that, Silva would still be under contract with the UFC if he was eventually cleared to fight. That would likely prove to be problematic since ‘The Axe Murderer’ has engaged in several video rants aimed at the UFC since his retirement, claiming that they mistreat fighters and accusing them of ‘slavery’.

With that in mind the UFC are unlikely to be rolling out the red carpet for his return, but at the same time probably won’t want to release him since he’d likely end up signing for rival promotion, Bellator who’ve shown an interest in the legendary brawler in the past.