Wanderlei Silva scored an important victory over the Nevada Athletic Commission on Monday, when a judge in Nevada district court lifted the lifetime ban and $70,000 fine, considering it "excess of the statutory authority of the agency".
Silva didn’t win the entire fight, though, as judge Kerry Earley ruled that the commission had "properly exercised jurisdiction" to drug test him despite the fact that he wasn’t licensed by the commission months ahead of a planned UFC 175 bout with Chael Sonnen last July.
The former PRIDE champion, who ran away from his gym when a member of the commission appeared to drug test him, will have to go in front of the commission for a re-hearing, but celebrated his first victory.
"When you stand up in favor of a working class, all that you want is for workers to be treated better," Silva said on a video posted on his YouTube account. "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. Today, history was made, once again."
The Nevada Athletic Commission has yet to set a date for Silva’s re-hearing.