While so much attention has been focused on the NFL’s handling of domestic violence cases, the Ultimate Fighting Championship has been dealing with similar issues.
The organization took action Friday against two fighters.
Thiago Silva was released by the UFC, and Anthony Johnson was suspended indefinitely. Both compete in the light heavyweight division.
Silva had been released from the organization in February after he was arrested following a standoff with police. He was charged with several counts stemming from an armed confrontation with his estranged wife and her boyfriend in Oakland Park, Calif.
The victim in the case, Silva’s estranged wife, Thaysa, apparently fled the country and stopped cooperating with the prosecution.
UFC president Dana White, who had said Silva would never again compete in the UFC, decided to re-sign Silva this month after the charges were dropped.
Thaysa, however, released two videos on social media claiming to document Silva’s abuse and alleged drug use.
“Thiago Silva was released from his UFC contract on Feb. 7 due to his arrest by police in South Florida. The charges against Silva were dropped by the Broward County District Attorney’s office, and Silva was re-signed to the UFC earlier this month,” a statement from the UFC read. “Based on new information received today in the form of video and audio evidence, Silva has been terminated from his UFC contract.”
Johnson’s case is a bit different.
The mother of his children alleges Johnson struck her in 2012, knocking out two of her teeth. She has further alleged that Johnson has tried to intimidate her and believes threats she has received in the time since have come from Johnson’s friends.
The woman went to police this month seeking a protection order.
The UFC, which claims to have a “zero tolerance policy” for domestic abuse, is investigating the claims.
“We are aware of the situation involving Anthony Johnson,” a statement read. “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 immediately took to his Facebook page after the announcement.
“The (expletive) ppl will say and the lengths ppl will go just to tell a (expletive) lie is ridiculous,” he posted. “That’s all I’m going to say and thank you all for the support and positive feedback that I’m getting.”
Johnson previously pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge stemming from a 2009 domestic abuse case involving a different woman.
■ NOTE — UFC veteran and Las Vegas resident Wanderlei Silva announced his retirement in a video posted on social media Friday.
Silva, 38, has not fought since a second-round knockout of Brian Stann in March 2013. He was pulled from a scheduled matchup with Chael Sonnen this year when he allegedly evaded a Nevada Athletic Commission drug test collector.
Silva is still facing disciplinary action from the commission.
Contact reporter Adam Hill at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-224-5509. Follow him on Twitter: @adamhilllvrj.