Thiago Silva Released from UFC Contract After New Video Evidence Surfaces

John Heinis@HeinisHardNewsSenior Analyst ISeptember 10, 2014

Lyoto Machida, left, in action against Thiago Silva during their UFC light heavyweight mixed martial art match Saturday, January 31, 2009 at The MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Machida won by 1st round KO. (AP Photo/Eric Jamison)
Eric Jamison/Associated Press

A three-page document from the Florida State Attorney's Office shed some light as to why the court case between UFC light heavyweight Thiago Silva and his ex-wife, Thaysa Kamiji, was dropped last week. 

UPDATE: Friday, Sept. 19 at 6:40 p.m. EST: 

 The UFC has released a statement on their website about its decision to cut Thiago Silva: 

Thiago Silva was released from his UFC contract on Feb. 7 due to his arrest by police in South Florida. The charges against Silva were dropped by the Broward County District Attorney’s office and Silva was re-signed to the UFC earlier this month. Based on new information received today in the form of video and audio evidence, Silva has been terminated from his UFC contract.

The videos in question were allegedly released on YouTube by Silva's ex-wife. The videos can be viewed below and a full transcript of what was said can be read via Bloody Elbow's report

---End Of Update---

The document, which was signed by Assistant State Attorney Vegina Hawkins on September 8, was made public Tuesday night by Deadspin and details the difficulty the Broward County Sheriff's Department had with the situation.

On February 5, 2014, Broward Sheriff's deputies again responded to Thaysa Silva's residence in reference to a domestic disturbance ... (Thiago Silva) sent her a text message in Portuguese that translated, 'I'm gonna f--k you up and you're going to die.' ... On February 6, 2014, Thaysa Silva was training at the Popovitch Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Center when she and others noticed the defendant pull up to the center ... The defendant then produced a black glock firearm, pointed it at her and said, 'You have 10 seconds to bring Pablo outside and if he does not come out, I will go to the gym and start shooting everyone.'

The February 6 incident is when the Broward County Sheriff's Department, as well as the BSO SWAT and Aviation Unit, performed a joint effort to arrest Silva on charges of aggravated assault with a firearm and resisting arrest without violence, the report says. 

A bond hearing was held on March 7, where Thaysa testified regarding the allegations against her ex-husband, and Silva was eventually granted a $25,000 bond, per NBC Miami

Things began to go south on March 18 when Thaysa's then-attorney, Scott Saul, issued a request on behalf of his client "to have personal belongings retrieved by a third party," records show. 

However, authorities were not able to reach Thaysa on the matter, leaving several phone messages, according to documents. 

Pablo Popovitch, a decorated Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt who was in a romantic relationship with Thaysa, told the sheriff's department in late April that the couple would like to file additional charges against Silva, according to the report. 

Additional charges were not pursued by law enforcement when the couple was unable to supply sufficient evidence on the new claims, Hawkins wrote. 

On May 7, Thaysa dismissed an injunction for protection against Silva and refused to meet with authorities in person, according to Hawkins. 

In early June, Thaysa hired an attorney to consult regarding her legal rights to leave the country, claiming "she was moving back to Brazil and was only in town to retrieve her personal belongings and her dog," the report states. 

On August 29, a Broward County Sheriff's Department detective went to Thaysa's Florida residence, confirming that the home had been "vacated," documents show.

After neighbors stated that Thaysa moved back to Brazil, law enforcement discovered that she took a flight from Miami to Sao Paulo on the Fourth of July and is yet to return, Hawkins concluded.

As a result, all charges against Thiago Silva were dismissed on September 4, paving the way for his return to the UFC, per UFC.com

Speaking on Monday's edition of Ariel Helwani's The MMA Hour (h/t MMA Fighting), Silva said, "I never pointed any gun at my ex-wife."

With a ton of evidence from the case now out in the open, was Thiago Silva really innocent, or did he just catch an incredibly lucky break here?

John Heinis is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report. He is also the MMA editor for eDraft.com.


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