Zuffa, the parent company of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, filed a civil lawsuit in Nevada district court against retired fighter Wanderlei Silva on Tuesday, accusing the part-time Las Vegan of “intentional misconduct” as a result of his recent claims the organization has fixed fights in the past.
Silva, who has had a contentious relationship with his former employers since the Nevada Athletic Commission banned him for life for evading a drug test in 2014, took to social media to complain about the organization’s decision to cut ties with noted cutman Jacob “Stitch” Duran.
“They have no respect for anyone. I’ve made it very clear to you all that I will never again fight for this promotion, the U.F.Circus,” he posted in Portuguese on July 22. “Fixed fights — and I can prove it! I haven’t yet dropped the bomb. I haven’t said everything I know!”
Zuffa’s suit claims the comments were defamatory and seeks undisclosed punitive damages and litigation costs. The organization also seeks damages in excess of $10,000 for disparagement.
Silva’s lifetime ban was overturned by a district court judge in May. He remains retired from competition, having last fought in March 2013.
Calls to Ross Goodman, a Las Vegas-based attorney who has represented Silva in the past, were not returned.