After nearly two years without a fight, MMA legend Wanderlei Silva has been officially let go by the UFC.
Don't expect Silva to shed any tears though, this is exactly what he wanted. He's been embroiled in a vicious lawsuit with the UFC for the past two years, one that's prevented him from fighting or even appearing at MMA events like Bellator.
Back in 2013, Silva told reporters that the UFC had been fixing fights, and that he had proof. In response, the UFC filed a defamation lawsuit. Silva's purported evidence never materialized, and he faced some stiff potential financial costs.
Now it seems Silva and the UFC have reached a settlement, with Silva issuing a public apology on Facebook:
“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,” read his statement. “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.”
MMA Junkie reports that in return, Silva has been released from his UFC contract, freeing him up to pursue other ventures.
That being said, he almost certainly will not be fighting in the US again. The Nevada State Athletic Commission issued him a lifetime ban after he dodged an out-of-competition drug test before UFC 175.
He could still look to compete in Japan however, where Rizin has been busy scooping up a number of former Pride FC athletes.