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Wanderlei Silva apologizes for UFC fight-fixing claims: 'I was wrong'

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Wanderlei Silva is walking back salacious claims he made last year about the UFC.

The MMA legend wrote on Facebook last July that he knows the UFC fixes fights and could prove it. On Thursday, Silva took to Facebook again to "apologize" and say he was wrong."

"I hereby retract any such statements in their entirety as I failed to understand that the term "fight-fixing" specifically refers to the illegal action or practice of dishonestly determining the outcome of a contest before it occurs," Silva wrote. "I understand the UFC's reputation would be harmed if my fans and others actually believed the UFC engaged in fight fixing, and I have no evidence to support such a claim. I apologize for any misunderstanding my comments may have caused."

Silva's RetractionI Was Wrong, apologize."In July of last year, I posted a number of comments on Facebook and...

Posted by Wanderlei Silva on Thursday, January 14, 2016

Zuffa, UFC's parent company, filed a lawsuit against Silva in Nevada district court just a week later, claiming that "The Axe Murder" defamed the promotion and disparaged its business.

"Zuffa, LLC, dba the Ultimate Fighting Championship, filed suit against Wanderlei Silva in Clark County District Court in Las Vegas last evening based on the false and defamatory statements published by Mr. Silva last week," the UFC said in a statement in July. "The company will have no further comment on the matter at this time, and refers all inquiries to its counsel at the law firm Campbell & Williams."

The took legal action on Silva after he posted a photo on his Facebook of cutman Jacob "Stitch" Duran right after Duran was fired by the UFC.

"Fixed fights - and I can prove it!" Silva wrote with the photo. "I haven't yet dropped the bomb. I haven't said everything I know!"

Zuffa's case against Silva is still open, according to public records on the Nevada district court website.

Silva, 39, is a former PRIDE champion, UFC headliner and one of the most beloved fighters of his era. He's currently under a lifetime ban by the Nevada Athletic Commission for evading a drug test.