Wanderlei Silva issues apology over allegations of UFC fight fixing, granted release from UFC contract

By Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief

It seems Wanderlei Silva and the UFC may have reached a settlement regarding the defamation suit brought against “The Axe Murderer” by the organization, as Silva released a (clearly) prepared statement on Facebook Thursday apologizing for the fight fixing claims he made against the organization last year. Additionally, according to MMAJunkie.com’s Steven Marrocco, he’s been released from his UFC contract as well.

Here’s the statement via Facebook, entitled “Silva’s Retraction”:

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.”

Wanderlei Silva.

Silva is still awaiting disciplinary action from the Nevada Athletic Commission this week after they once again delayed proceedings. His attorney Ross Goodman argued this week there was no legal basis for them not to hear the case at this hearing after delaying it several times since October, while the commission said they weren’t comfortable with terms reached between Goodman and the Attorney General’s office. Additionally, commissioner Pat Lundvall said she had questions she still wanted to ask Silva more than a year and a half after they handed him a lifetime ban for skipping out on a drug test.

Goodman says Silva will not appear at any future hearings, and that he has a legal right to let his attorney handle things on his behalf. The case was sent back to the commission after a district court in Nevada ruled their discipline “arbitrary and capricious,” and before his further appeals over their authority can be heard they must re-issue discipline based on a second hearing.

Penick’s Analysis: These are very obviously words carefully written for him, a necessary part of a settlement which appears to have gotten him what he’s wanted in a release from the UFC. His suspension is likely to get reduced, or at least to have some type of end from the NAC, but I’d imagine we’ll see him heading to Japan and away from the jurisdiction of any commission in the very near future.

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