Wanderlei Silva recently announced his retirement from mixed martial arts (MMA), posting an emotional video (watch it here) that portrays a very sad -- and angry -- veteran fighter who was upset with his treatment in the wake of a drug test-evading debacle that detonated his
long-awaited cursed grudge match with Chael Sonnen ... and both their careers.
Feel free to read all about it in our comprehensive story stream right here because, frankly, there's just way too much to recap right now.
While "The Axe Murderer" delivered quite the passionate plea, one that even rallied the support of his sworn enemy, Rampage Jackson (WAR WAND!), Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White recently questioned the real reason behind the timing of the surprise announcement.
White, who declared on the latest edition of The Download, believes Silva purposely planned his retirement announcement just a few days before he was scheduled to receive his punishment from the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) for evading the aforementioned drug test
And it's nothing more than a modern-day magic act:
"I think he was trying to put up a smoke screen. Look over here because he does it a few days before he's about to go in front of the Nevada State Athletic Commission. The guy ran from a drug test. ... I've been saying it for a long time that he was going to get something serious."
As far as Silva's bitter farewell speech, during which he took several blatant jabs at UFC for not treating its fighters properly, White says he and UFC CEO, Lorenzo Fertitta, have never disrespected the long-time veteran. In addition, he has no clue from where the bitterness is coming.
White did anticipate that NSAC would come down hard on Silva (perhaps the genesis for the bitterness), but he never imagined the punishment would be so severe.
"I didn't see a lifetime ban coming, but probably the worst thing you can do is run from a drug test. You can't run from a drug test. I've never said a bad thing about Wanderlei Silva in my life. I've always respected the guy and there is no way that guy can ever say that myself or Lorenzo Fertitta ever disrespected him. There's nothing more that needs to be said."
If Silva's motive was, indeed, to distract combat sports fans from his pending punishment, it didn't work. That's because NSAC dropped the hammer hard, banning Silva from competing in Nevada for life and hitting him with a whopping $70,000 fine.
It was a decision that sent him even further off the deep end, even though he failed to appear in-person for perhaps the most important hearing (yet again) of his MMA career to properly defend himself. Shortly after, he took the opportunity to declare war against the "sons of bitches" sitting at the NSAC table who, "think they run shit."
Somehow, someway, this sordid saga might only be getting started.