Wanderlei Silva scored a victory over the Nevada State Athletic Commission on Monday. A district judge in Nevada ordered the lifetime ban and a fine of $70,000 dollars be lifted off the former Pride and UFC fighter. Silva earned the ban for fleeing a random drug test last year. The story was first reported by ESPN.
Silva officially appealed the decision in January on the terms that the Nevada State Athletic Commission had no rightful jurisdiction to test him. He also argued that he had no active fighter’s license in the state of Nevada at the time of the testing.
In May of 2014, Silva had reportedly fled from a random drug test that was going to be administered by the NSAC. The testing was done as a precursor for his fight with Chael Sonnen at UFC 175. To Silva’s credit he later came clean about why he fled the testing stating that he had taken a banned substance. The NSAC gave Silva a lifetime ban as punishment for fleeing and shortly after the Brazilian fighter announced his retirement from active competition.
The NSAC stated that Silva’s intention to fight Sonnen at UFC 175, which was to take place in Las Vegas, gave them jurisdiction to test Silva at random. The district judge did agree with the athletic commission on that point stating that they did act within their rightful jurisdiction.
What that judge did not agree with was the reasoning for the lifetime ban. The judge stated that there was a lack of evidence that would support a lifetime ban.
Since his retirement, Silva has been on a social media tour that has seen him attacking Dana White and the UFC for unfairly treating fighters. Silva is still technically under a UFC contract and though his lifetime ban is lifted he may not be able to compete anytime soon. With his bitter war of words with White, Silva may just be kept on the sidelines and not be able to jump ship to a rival promotion like the WSOF or Bellator MMA.
Silva compiled a 35-12 professional record for a career that spanned almost two decades. He became famous for this battles in Pride but his success there never really translated into the UFC. While fighting for the company Silva went 5-4 and never won consecutive bouts.