Was Silva re-signing bad timing or just bad?

September 11, 2014

Recently the UFC re-signed Thiago Silva after charges against him for domestic violence were dropped.  The NFL fumbled the handling of Ray Rice and its subsequent fallout reveals that the UFC is not the only sports organization that has a problem with domestic violence and the subsequent handling of the issue.

Rice has been suspended indefinitely from the NFL and essentially banished from football including the Canadian Football league which indicated it will uphold the NFL’s suspension and will not sign Rice.  Rice has lost sponsors and has even been eliminated from the annual EA Madden video game.

When questioned on Fox Sports Live on Wednesday about the Rice issue in comparison to Silva, Dana White indicated that Silva had been cleared of the domestic violence issue.  This was due to Silva’s wife moving back to Brazil and her unwillingness to assist in the investigation.  The memo obtained by MMA Junkie reveals the horrid details and although there was no videotape like in the Rice case, it is just (if not more) disgusting.  The memo states he had put a gun in his wife’s mouth and threatened to kill her and later on threatened to kill people within the BJJ gym where she trained.

Yet, the day after charges were dropped, the UFC re-signed Silva.  Just as swiftly as the UFC fired Silva for his arrest after the standoff with Florida police stemming from the domestic abuse accusations, he was scooped up by the organization once the charges were dropped.

Silva denies wrongdoing for the domestic assault which he claims never happened in an interview on The MMA Hour.  This is no revelation that he would deny the charges.  It may be surprising that Silva was willing to conduct an interview to attempt to clear his name.

Despite White’s defense of his recall of Silva, it looks like a terrible move in light of the ongoing Rice scrutiny.  The latest videotape and discovery that the NFL may have had the information before levying a penalty to Rice will come under critical media and internal investigation in the weeks to come.  This NFL scandal should be something that the UFC should take note and prepare itself in the future.

Payout Perspective:

This is the fight game and there are many unfortunate instances of domestic violence issues occurring from MMA fighters (e.g., War Machine and Josh Grispi come to mind) and boxers.  One need only look at Floyd Mayweather, Jr.’s past to know that despite domestic issues, fighters go on with their careers.  But does that mean it’s correct?  Of course not, but it happens.

A recent SI article concludes that the Silva signing is bad business for the UFC. He’s not a main event fighter like a Mayweather, who will once again garner a hefty pay day partly off of $75 PPV buys.  In fact, Silva’s presence in the Octagon will only have people recall his past transgressions.  Then again, will people have a selective memory about Silva after a couple fights?  Anyone recall ex-NFL player’s Warren Moon’s domestic issues?

So, why was the UFC willing to take a chance on Silva so soon after the charges were dropped.  Was Bellator or WSOF chomping at the bit to sign him?  Silva was an interesting fighter with a distinct look and fight style that may have had a following of fans.  But if you are a sponsor, would you want Silva to sport your logo on his trunks or on his fight banner?  What kind of following will he have now? Would you want to put Silva on a Fox show?

White said the right things in response to questions about the Rice video on Fox Sports Live.  That was easy.  What will be hard is addressing the domestic violence issues for the UFC going forward.  While it’s understandable to assess each case separately, there must be a bright line rule when it comes to a sensitive issue as men hitting women.

5 Responses to “Was Silva re-signing bad timing or just bad?”

  1. Logical on September 12th, 2014 12:29 AM

    I was very surprised at this re-signing, doesn’t the UFC have a huge PR department that would be totally against this?

    Could Thiago Silva have taken legal action against the UFC if he was not reinstated after having all charges dropped? If that was not the reason then I really don’t understand how they could take a chance on a guy like this, I mean… he is not that popular for the UFC to be worried about Bellator grabbing him or really that relevant to be a title contender… weird.

  2. BrainSmasher on September 12th, 2014 9:37 AM

    I support the resigning. It was the fair and right thing to do. Look at it this way. Whose word are you taking to keep Silva out? His Ex isn’t cooperating and isn’t a reliable source. There is no proof of him doing anything. No video and no witness. Without the other side helping get to the bottom the. You are banning him for hear say. Even the police say they have nothing to prove he did anything.

    I think companies need to stop the witch hunts and let the justice system play out. Enough of this judge, jury, and executioner to appeal to political correct dumbasses. It’s ignorant the way this country works at times. We are hypocrites trying to use two different systems at once.we want the justice system and innocent until proven guilt when it is our ass on the line then turn into a lench mob when it is someone else.

    Again whose word you going to go by to end this guys career?

  3. tops E on September 12th, 2014 4:40 PM

    Desperate times hahahaha

  4. D on September 13th, 2014 2:09 PM

    Silva should be in jail and should be banned by the athletic commissions for repetitively cheating and being an overall dirty fighter.

  5. Jeremy on September 15th, 2014 9:31 PM

    His training partners also reportedly flooded Dana’s voice mail with messages of support for Silva, urging the UFC to bring him back.

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