UFC Fighter Thiago Silva Arrested, Jailed After Armed Standoff with Police

Steven RondinaFeatured ColumnistFebruary 6, 2014

USA Today

UFC fighter Thiago Silva has been arrested after he threatened his estranged wife and her lover with a gun and then had an armed standoff with police officers at his home, according to a story NBC 6 South Florida broke late Thursday night: 

According to the Sun Sentinel, Silva has been jailed on several charges:

A Broward Sheriff’s Office arrest report released Friday outlines the allegations that put Silva, 31, in jail on two counts of attempted murder, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and obstruction without violence.

However, during a first-appearance court hearing, Silva’s attorney, Scott Saul, was able to have the attempted murder charges downgraded to aggravated assault with a firearm and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon after laying out his arguments to Broward Judge John “Jay” Hurley.

Silva will be held without bond, according to USA Today:

Bleacher Report reached out to the UFC on Thursday night, and the promotion responded with the following: "This evening, we were made aware of a situation involving Thiago Silva. We are in the process of gathering the facts and have no further comment at this time."

On Friday morning, the UFC officially terminated Silva's contract, via Damon Martin of Fox Sports:

Silva, 31, was involved in an altercation with his estranged wife of 13 years, Thaysa. They were separated in 2012, and Thaysa has since admitted to an ongoing extramarital affair with Pablo Popovitch, founder of the Team Popovitch Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Center in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

According to the police report, cops were first called to the Silva residence in Oakland Park, a city near Fort Lauderdale, on Jan. 30 when Thiago confronted Thaysa over the extramarital affair. Thiago allegedly pointed a silver revolver at Thaysa and put the gun in her mouth, prompting her to obtain a temporary restraining order against her husband.

The report also states that Thiago violated his restraining order by showing up at the couple's home on Wednesday, Feb. 5, before sending a disturbing text message threatening to kill Thaysa.

The next night, according to the report, Thaysa was at Popovitch's training center when Thiago drove up and blared his horn continuously until Thaysa came out. When she got close to the vehicle, a visibly intoxicated Thiago pointed a glock firearm at her and allegedly said, "You have 10 seconds to bring Pablo outside and if he does not come out, I will go in the gym and start shooting everyone."

There were reportedly 25 students inside the center at the time of the threat. Popovitch is said to have come out and approached the car when Thiago again threatened to kill both Popovitch and Thaysa before driving away. Popovitch then ran back inside, locked the door and called 911. 

Police responded to the incident and tracked the fighter back to his home, where Thiago barricaded himself inside and an armed standoff took place, according to NBC 6 South Florida. After police surrounded the home, Silva eventually came out and was subdued by stun gun.

MMA blogger ZombieProphet passes along Silva's mugshot:

Silva, ranked 12th in the UFC's light heavyweight division, was slated to fight Ovince Saint Preux at UFC 171 in March. He currently trains at the Jaco Hybrid Training Center (better known as the Blackzilians) based out of Boca Raton, Fla.

The Brazilian fighter has been largely successful in MMA, posting a 16-3 professional record (with two no contests), but has had numerous incidents throughout his time with the UFC. In 2011, the Nevada State Athletic Commission suspended him for a year for submitting a synthetic urine sample. He was again suspended in 2012 for failing a drug test due to marijuana metabolites.

Most recently, Silva missed weight for his fight with fellow veteran light heavyweight Matt Hamill. He won the bout by decision, but appeared to be out of shape and was underwhelming in victory. It's reasonable to assume his personal issues, which have now been made very public, contributed to his subpar performance in the cage.