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Ex-Bellator fighter accused of robbing bank releases statement

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Sergio Da Silva tried to cheat the scale during the Bellator 180 weigh-ins.
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

The MMA fighter accused of robbing a bank has released a statement, saying he is ready to clear his name.

Sergio Da Silva, who last fought for Bellator, wrote a Facebook post Friday, seemingly denying the charge. TMZ reported Thursday that Da Silva had been arrested for allegedly robbing a bank in New York. Police sources told the website that Da Silva stormed into a Queens Citibank branch and came away with about $50,000.

Da Silva, 31, wrote that he could not speak much about the specific allegations, but his lawyer is “working hard to clear this up.”

“I'm ready to cooperate and clear up my name,” Da Silva wrote.

Da Silva, who has a 6-9 record in MMA, fought on the Bellator 180 card at Madison Square Garden on June 24, falling by third-round submission to Matt Rizzo on the prelims. The day before, he admitted to trying to cheat the scale, so he would not make weight. The New York State Athletic Commission (NYSAC) caught on to his tricks, though.

Bellator declined comment on Da Silva’s situation, but sources said he is not currently under contract with the promotion and the fight with Rizzo was just a one-off.

Da Silva also has a fight on his record against UFC bantamweight contender Aljamain Sterling, a unanimous decision loss.

The full statement can be read below:

Crazy day to say the least. I am truly overwhelmed by all the love and support I have received. I got all the text , calls, emails, messages etc. thank you to my phenomenal lawyer I'm home and my attorney is working hard to clear this up. As much as I would love to speak more about the allegations my legal team has rightfully advised me against discussing any details until the case is over. We are following all the necessary steps required. All I ask is for everyone to plz respect my family during this difficult times also plz understand my distance . I do not have my cell phone . Should have it in the next few days. I'm ready to cooperate and clear up my name.

TMZ reported that Da Silva put on a ski mask, jumped over the counter into the teller area, said he had a gun and would shoot people in the incident Aug. 24. He did not end up having a gun. The website reported that police tracked him down via fingerprints taken at the scene. Some of the incident was captured on surveillance video.

Additional reporting done by Guilherme Cruz