Wanderlei Silva was handed a severe penalty by the Nevada Athletic Commission. | Photo: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
Former Ultimate Fighting Championship middleweight Wanderlei Silva was fined $70,000 and handed a lifetime ban by the Nevada Athletic Commission on Tuesday for avoiding a drug test prior to his scheduled UFC 175 bout against Chael Sonnen.
Silva, who was not present at the hearing, requested to have the case dismissed on grounds that the NAC did not have jurisdiction to punish Silva, since he had yet to apply for a license to compete in Nevada. The commission ultimately denied the request.
When Silva’s lawyer, Dr. Ross Goodman, was pressed about his client’s decision to not appear in person or via telephone on Tuesday, Goodman pointed to the testimony from Silva’s hearing in June. The fighter previously admitted that he fled from an official who was attempting to administer a surprise drug test because Silva’s system was full of diuretics.
Silva last week retired from MMA, stating in a self-produced video that the UFC “took away [his] desire to fight.”
After deliberation and acknowledgment by the commissioners that they would like to avoid any similar situation to the one involving Chael Sonnen’s two failed drug tests -- Sonnen retired from the sport following the incidents, but competed at Metamoris a week later -- Silva’s punishment was handed down.
At one point, the commission discussed fining Silva the entire $300,000 purse he would have received from his UFC 175 bout, but instead settled on 35 percent.
Following the hearing, Goodman told reporters that he intends to file an appeal on the decision.