It’s been awhile since Wanderlei Silva gave us a career update via a dimly-lit video recorded in a rape dungeon, and while many fans have all but completely forgotten about his existence in that time, the former PRIDE and UFC star has kept busy attempting to valiantly restore some credibility to his name. And today, it appears he may have actually made a little headway in that quest.
Last week, a Nevada District court judge, Kerry Earley, reversed the lifetime ban Wanderlei was handed by the Nevada State Athletic Commission back in September for fleeing his UFC 175 medicals. Having retired shortly beforehand, Silva used his newfound freedom to attack the UFC over everything from fighter pay to sponsorship policies (the latter of which grows more relevant by the day).
And now, Silva has finally achieved (some of) the “justice” he was seeking, and is understandably thrilled. In his latest video statement released earlier today, he even managed to up the production value and shoot it in one of his gyms!
When you stand up in favor of a working class, all that you want is for the workers to be treated better. You want their rights to be given to them, and not only their duties. Every regulatory entity has laws which the entity itself must follow.
Today, history was made for all MMA athletes. We succeeded at reversing a very unjust sentence given by this commission. I hope this never happens to another athlete; to have to fight in court for their right to work. It’s not right for the commission to do that. they can’t be above the law. We need to make clear the regulatory laws.
As we’ve reiterated after viewing each of Wandy’s vlogs, he undoubtedly makes some good points about the state of the sport and the steps necessary to improve. But as always, one must first consider the source, and it’s hard to overlook the fact that Wandy only became the caped crusader of equality MMA after he was essentially blacklisted from it.
But where does Wandy — and our sport in general — do with this ruling? To put it simply, we’re not entirely sure. Wandy will be forced to appear in person before the NAC for a rehearing of the case at a date TBD, but according to Combat Sports Law, Early’s ruling granted NSAC the power “to conduct out of competition drug tests for individuals not previously licensed in their jurisdiction,” although the scope of their authority remains a bit of a mystery. With NSAC still redefining the length of punishments for various substances and the UFC preparing to launch its own year-round, out-of competition drug testing program, a lot remains up in the air regarding the sport’s future.
All that said, Wanderlei is speaking as if he is already a vindicated man.
I want to thank you for all your support. You are like family to me. To everyone, in every city, around the world, supporting me through your screen. Even after not fighting for two years, my fans never abandon me. You are not just fans, you are real friends. After dedicating my entire life to something, you are what makes it worth it.
In every city I go there are lines of people to see me and give me a hug. I love to feel your affection towards me. It’s priceless. To all of you in the Wand family, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I hope to personally meet you one day in your city to say my sincere thank you.