Sometimes fighters will make the most of an opportunity, and sometimes they'll just piss it all away.
UFC light heavyweight contender Thiago Silva was recently popped by the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) for submitting a urine sample that was "inconsistent with that of a human" following his unanimous decision win over Brandon Vera at UFC 125 back on Jan. 1.
Silva, who initially maintained his innocence following the incident, is now facing a slew of consequences including the revocation of his fight license, a steep monetary fine and a change in ruling for his Jan. 1 bout with Vera to a "No Contest."
If any positive can be gleaned from this drug-related mishap, it's that Silva has decided to man up, admit his wrongdoing and accept whatever punishment is handed down by the NSAC.
Through his American Top Team representatives, the Brazilian broke his silence with an official statement (via The Underground):
"We make decisions every day of our lives. Some are good and some are bad. When you make a bad decision, you can either make the situation worse by trying to cover it up or lie about it or just stick your head in the sand and refuse to acknowledge it even happened or you can own up to it with an honest explanation, accept the consequences of your actions, apologize to the people affected by it, learn from it and move on. I'm choosing the second option.
I used a urine adulterant when giving a sample following my fight with Brandon Vera. I did so in an attempt to alter the results of the test and knowingly broke the rules of the Nevada Athletic Commission. This was a terrible decision on my part for which I will be punished. I am prepared to accept this punishment, learn from it and move on. I apologize to the Commission, the UFC, Brandon Vera and the MMA fans.
I do want to explain the circumstances behind my actions. Please do not interpret this as an attempt to justify my actions. I know they were wrong and I know I made bad decisions and I know I deserve to be punished. That is why I began my statement with an admission and an apology before going into these details. This is not an excuse, only an explanation.
I had been tested on five prior occasions while fighting for the UFC before the Brandon Vera fight. Four of the tests were urine only and one included a blood sample as well in New Jersey the day before the fight. I passed each of those tests. I suffered a severe back injury shortly before the Rashad Evans fight. It was the biggest fight of my career and there was no way I was going to pull out of it. I fought and lost and was out of action for a year rehabilitating the injury and getting ready to fight again.
I reinjured my back 45 days before the fight with Brandon Vera. After not fighting for a year, I made the decision to not pull out of the fight. I also decided that the only way I could continue with the fight was to take injections in my back and spine that contained substances prohibited by the Nevada Athletic Commission. I also made the decision to use a product to hide the presence of these substances in a urine test.
These decisions were mine and mine alone. I did not share this information with anyone prior to the fight for fear that I would not be allowed to fight. I obviously made a terrible decision. I have since learned that it may have even been possible to fight had I been open and honest and disclosed the injury and treatment prior to the fight. I also realize that not being allowed to fight as a result of the treatment would have been a better result than the mess into which I have now gotten myself.
Again, I take full responsibility for making the decision to break the rules and try to cheat the system. I will accept the punishment I receive and will learn from this. I plan to come back as a better person and professional as a result."
This isn't the commission's first experience with a test result of this nature.
Kevin "The Monster" Randleman served a one-year suspension from the NSAC when it was revealed he provided a non-human urine sample following his submission loss to Mauricio "Shogun" Rua at PRIDE 32: "The Real Deal" back on October 21, 2006.
No punishment has been handed down at this time but Silva will have to appear before the NSAC for a hearing on a potential temporary suspension on April 7, 2011, at which time he can appeal (not likely) and request a formal hearing.
Whatever the final result may be, it's reasonable to expect him to be out of action for at least a year which if nothing else, should help with his recovery from chronic back problems.
But will you welcome him back with open arms once he satisfies the terms of his sentence?