Wanderlei Silva did “probably the worst thing you can do,” says Dana White. | Photo: Taro Irei/Sherdog.com
On Tuesday, the Nevada Athletic Commission issued Wanderlei Silva a lifetime ban and fined him $70,000 for dodging a drug test prior to his UFC 175 bout against Chael Sonnen.
While UFC President Dana White expected the penalty to be harsh, he still was somewhat taken aback when he learned of the punishment imposed by the NAC.
“I didn’t see a lifetime ban coming, but probably the worst thing you can do is run from a drug test,” White told UFC.com. “You can’t run from a drug test.”
Silva was not present at Tuesday’s meeting. The fighter had requested to have the case dismissed on the grounds that the commission did not have jurisdiction to punish Silva since he had not yet applied for a license in Nevada at the time. Of course, that request was emphatically denied.
Although he was conspicuously absent on Tuesday, Silva made plenty of noise the previous week, announcing his retirement and claiming the UFC had robbed him of his desire to fight.
White believes Silva’s 13-plus minute video message was created to serve as a distraction from the matter at hand.
“I think he was trying to put up a smoke screen. Look over here because he does it a few days before he’s about to go in front of the Nevada State Athletic Commission,” White said “The guy ran from a drug test... I’ve been saying it for a long time that he was going to get something serious.”
Although Silva had nothing good to say about his former employer during his retirement announcement, the UFC boss has no harsh feelings toward the 38-year-old Brazilian. He also disputes the notion that the Las Vegas-based promotion ever treated Silva poorly.
“I’ve never said a bad thing about Wanderlei Silva in my life,” he said. “I’ve always respected the guy and there is no way that guy can ever say that myself or Lorenzo Fertitta ever disrespected him. There’s nothing more that needs to be said.”