Despite once saying that Thiago Silva would never fight in the Octagon again, UFC president Dana White on Friday changed his outlook on the situation and welcomed the fighter back. All charges against Silva stemming from a Feb. 7 arrest in Florida were dropped on Thursday, opening the door for his return.
SEE ALSO: Video of Thiago Silva’s Arrest
“When this thing went down, I said he’d never fight in the UFC again. When I watched it unfold on TV and heard of the charges, it didn’t look good for Thiago Silva,” White said. “But he was acquitted of all charges. How do you not let the guy fight again?”
Silva’s team, The Blackzilians, on Friday announced he had re-signed with the UFC.
“We are proud to announce that Thiago Silva is officially back with the #UFC,” wrote The Blackzilians on Instagram. “We are truly thankful to the UFC and hope to see him fighting again by January.”
The signing came just one day after all charges against Silva were dropped. Initially facing two counts of aggravated assault with a firearm, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, and resisting arrest without violence, the charges against Silva were dropped on Thursday when the victim, Silva’s estranged wife, became uncooperative with the investigation, according to an initial report from TMZ Sports.
Silva was arrested on Feb. 7 and eventually charged stemming from an incident at the Pablo Popovitch Mixed Martial Arts Academy in Oakland Park, Fla. that followed threats that Silva made against his estranged wife, who trained at the academy and dated Popovitch.
The UFC terminated Silva’s contract following his arrest, but White on Friday said that Silva deserved to be able to make a living since he had faced the legal process and come out on the other side mostly unscathed.
“He went through the legal process and came out of it untainted,” White said. “He deserves to be able to make a living again. He’s back under contract.”
Silva last fought at UFC Fight Night: Maia vs. Shields in October of 2013, when he won a unanimous decision over Matt Hamill. He had been scheduled to fight for a promotion called Fight Time in August, but the bout was scrapped after Silva suffered a knee injury.
Silva is targeting a return to the Octagon by January of 2015.