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Wanderlei Silva released by UFC following his apology for allegations of fight fixing

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Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight Wanderlei Silva, who is currently playing tag with Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) following a mandatory re-hearing, recently claimed his former employer was guilty of fixing fights.

Unfortunately for "The Axe Murderer," that's not the kind of accusation you can make without any sort of hard evidence, and not surprisingly, UFC countered that claim with a lawsuit for "intentional misconduct" -- complete with winky face from promotion president Dana White.

Today (Thurs., Jan. 14, 2016), Silva retracted those claims and apologized on social media:

"I was wrong, apologize. In July of last year, I posted a number of comments on Facebook and Twitter, which included repeated claims that the UFC 'fixed fights' and that I could 'prove it.' I hereby retract any such statements in their entirety as I failed to understand that the term 'fight-fixing' specifically refers to the illegal action or practice of dishonestly determining the outcome of a contest before it occurs. I understand the UFC's reputation would be harmed if my fans and others actually believed the UFC engaged in fight fixing, and I have no evidence to support such a claim. I apologize for any misunderstanding my comments may have caused."

As a reward for his public apology, ZUFFA released Silva from his UFC contract, according to MMA Junkie.

"It's a good day for Wanderlei," attorney Ross Goodman told MMA Fighting. "We were able to get his lawsuit settled and more importantly, we got Wanderlei released from the UFC. Now he's free to do whatever he wants to do."

If he can make amends with NSAC, it would be nice to have the former PRIDE smashing machine back inside the cage, now that he's free to negotiate with outside fight promotions. It's no secret Bellator MMA has been interested in the Brazilian and with RIZIN doing work in Japan, the grass is getting pretty green on every side.

So, about that drop to middleweight...

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