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UFC President Dana White defends decision to rehire 'untainted' Thiago Silva: 'He deserves to be able to make a living'

Anthony Kwan

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White told the mixed martial arts (MMA) media that light heavyweight slugger, Thiago Silva, would never return to the Octagon following his arrest for domestic assault back in February.

Never say never.

Silva was reinstated by UFC last Thursday (Sept. 4, 2014) after the court cleared him of all charges. While the complaints against him looked pretty severe, the Brazilian maintained his innocence throughout, and his estranged wife -- and chief witness -- eventually withdrew her restraining order, then up and left the country altogether.

Without her prosecutors had no case and Silva was acquitted.

"When this thing went down, I said he'd never fight in the UFC again," White said in a statement to UFC.com. "When I watched it unfold on TV and heard of the charges, it didn't look good for Thiago Silva. But he was acquitted of all charges. How do you not let the guy fight again? He went through the legal process and came out of it untainted. He deserves to be able to make a living again. He's back under contract."

Silva is expected to return to the cage in January.

But just because he's back, doesn't mean he's going to be sticking around forever. Prior to his legal troubles, Silva (16-3, 2 NC) failed a pair of drug tests and looked dreadful in a unanimous decision win over the washed-up Matt Hamill last October.

Simply put, he may only get one chance to make a second impression.