The legendary mixed mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter cleared the first hurdle in his long journey back to combat sports, after a Nevada district court judge reversed his lifetime ban from MMA, originally handed down by Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) in early 2014.
ESPN correspondent Brett Okamoto has the details:
"A district court judge has REVERSED the lifetime ban imposed on Wanderlei Silva by the NSAC and ordered there be a new disciplinary hearing. The district judge agreed the NSAC had jurisdiction over Silva, even though he was not licensed when they attempted to drug test him; however, the district judge ruled that Silva's lifetime ban was not supported by substantial evidence. Ross Goodman, Silva's attorney, says he is 'evaluating options' in terms of a potential appeal, regarding the jurisdiction issue."
It doesn't guarantee a return to Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), especially after this, but scoring a new disciplinary hearing is certainly a step in the right direction.
Silva was part of a three-man circus -- which also included Chael Sonnen and Vitor Belfort -- nabbed by NSAC during a surprise drug test. Sonnen and Belfort returned positive results while "The Axe Murderer" opted to flee the scene, later admitting to taking a diuretic.
NSAC tried to make an example out of the embattled Brazilian, but it appears he won't be going down without a fight.