Never say never.
Despite being told by UFC President Dana White that Thiago Silva would "never fight in the UFC again," the Brazilian light heavyweight was welcomed back to and signed with the UFC on Friday. The news was first broken on the Blackzilians Instagram account and later confirmed by MMA Junkie.
“When this thing went down, I said he'd never fight in the UFC again. When I watched it unfold on TV and heard of the charges, it didn't look good for Thiago Silva,” White said to UFC.com. “But he was acquitted of all charges. How do you not let the guy fight again?”
Silva was arrested on February 6th after a standoff with police for charges ranging from assault to resisting arrest, all stemming from an incident related to his estranged wife and her partner, professional jiu-jitsu competitor Pablo Popovitch, outside of his Fort Lauderdale, Florida mixed martial arts school. Silva's estranged wife, Thaysa Kamiji, claimed Silva had had previously placed a firearm inside her mouth, then later threatened to shoot up Popovitch's gym.
According to Broward County investigators, however, Kamiji, was "uncooperative" with authorities and had likely left the country. That ultimately prompted a Florida judge to drop all charges against Silva on Thursday, opening the door to a UFC return.
Silva, 31, is 16-3 with 2 no-contests in professional MMA, with a 7-3 record inside the Octagon. There is no word on when Silva will return to competition or what the parameters of his contract are.
“He went through the legal process and came out of it untainted,” White said to UFC.com. “He deserves to be able to make a living again. He's back under contract."