What does the future hold for Wanderlei Silva?
The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) light heavyweight was summoned by Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) to explain why he skipped town when drug testers showed up at his gym and demanded a urine sample. The same one that popped Chael Sonnen and sent Vitor Belfort back behind the curtain.
Silva claims he was confused by the language barrier and wanted his attorney present.
While "The Axe Murderer" has yet to commit to the June 17 hearing, UFC President Dana White believes Silva is going to be "buried" either way, according to comments he made to the mixed martial arts (MMA) media at the recent UFC 174 media scrum (watch it).
"There's no loose ends with Wanderlei. I think the Wanderlei story is not going to end well. You know how this commission is right now. Always, not just these guys, but always. When you get caught taking performance enhancing drugs you're gone for a year, or whatever the suspension is, but it's never good. I think, and I honestly know nothing about what's going to happen, but I would have to say they're probably going to make a serious example out of Wanderlei. When the commission shows up to drug test you it is what it is. If you're doing something wrong you're going to get caught. Running from it just makes you guilty. I love Wanderlei. Wanderlei has always been a great guy. You don't walk out on a drug test, especially in Nevada. There's no way in hell [the NSAC] are letting him off. No way in hell. They are going to bury Wanderlei Silva. In my humble opinion. They're going to bury him."
Silva was pulled from the UFC 175 pay-per-view (PPV) event in the wake of his drug test fiasco.
While the easy answer is "just have him fight somewhere besides Las Vegas," it isn't always that simple. If NSAC banned "The Axe Murderer" from obtaining his license to fight, a majority of stateside commissions will honor that ruling in their own jurisdiction.
And UFC is not about to book him overseas in a non-regulated location, for obvious reasons.
For Silva, a burial in Nevada could equate to a burial worldwide -- even Brazil -- so what transpires next Tuesday could determine his future in combat sports. He could be denied a license to compete for a set period of time (like this) and allowed to return in 2015.
Or, he could just follow this guy's lead and fall on his sword.