SPORTS

UFC terminates Thiago Silva's contract a second time, suspends another fighter

09/19/2014 07:56 EDT | Updated 06/16/2017 01:02 EDT
TORONTO - While the NFL comes under the spotlight for player misconduct, the UFC is also making moves to sever ties with athletes under fire.

The mixed martial arts organization announced Friday it has terminated the contract of Thiago Silva and indefinitely suspended fellow light-heavyweight Anthony (Rumble) Johnson.

Silva, a Florida-based Brazilian, was released by the UFC in February after being arrested in South Florida on charges of threatening his wife with a gun. But he was re-signed by the UFC earlier this month after charges were dropped by the Broward County District Attorney’s office.

"Based on new information received today in the form of video and audio evidence, Silva has been terminated from his UFC contract," the UFC said in a statement Friday.

It did not elaborate on the video.

Authorities said in February that Silva took a gun to a mixed martial arts academy in Oakland Park and threatened to shoot his estranged wife, Thaysa, and her now-boyfriend, who called police. Silva eventually drove away.

Authorities tracked him down to his home where he was holed up for hours until he surrendered. Authorities used a stun gun on him before he was taken into custody.

A probable cause affidavit showed Silva had threatened his estranged wife on several occasions.

Silva (16-3 with two no contests) has had a checkered MMA history but was once considered a 205-pound contender.

In November 2012, he tested positive for marijuana following a win over Stanislav Nedkov in Macau. The fight was declared a no-contest and Silva was banned for six months.

Silva admitted to doping and tampering with his urine at a UFC 125 drug test. He said he did it because he injured his back in advance of a January 2011 fight against Brandon (The Truth) Vera. Silva won the fight, which was turned into a no-contest after the failed drug test.

The Nevada State Athletic Commission had alleged he submitted a specimen that was "inconsistent with human urine'' before the bout. Silva was banned for a year and fined US$33,750.

UFC president Dana White initially washed his hands of Silva when the Florida charges were laid.

"When this thing went down, I said he'd never fight in the UFC again," White told ufc.com in early September. "When I watched it unfold on TV and heard of the charges, it didn't look good for Thiago Silva. But he was acquitted of all charges. How do you not let the guy fight again?"

White said at the time that Silva deserves a chance to make a living.

"He went through the legal process and came out of it untainted," White said. "He deserves to be able to make a living again. He's back under contract."

That changed Friday.

The UFC did not detail Johnson's issue other than to say: "We are aware of the situation involving Anthony Johnson. As a result, we are suspending him indefinitely.

"We are using a third-party law firm to conduct a formal investigation and once we have more information, we’ll determine whether further course of action is necessary."

Johnson tweeted "the lengths ppl will go just to tell a (deleted) lie is ridiculous."

The 30-year-old Johnson had won his last two fights against good opposition as a light-heavyweight after returning to the UFC. His previous career as a UFC welterweight had been up and down with problems making weight.

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