(I’m in the grip of a nasty bug at the moment that’s leaving me with very little time to think about MMA. It being a big day for MMA – WEC and two TUF episodes – I didn’t wanna leave you guys hanging with nothing to do. So I talked to Steve from MMAConvert.com and he has agreed to let me mirror his content for the day. Really, you guys should be checking out his site all the time anyways. MMAConvert: It rocks)
It looks like Antonio Silva may want to reconsider his decision to fight in Japan for Sengoku on Jan. 4. Apparently, the CSAC is less than thrilled about Silva’s intention to violate his steroid suspension, and plans to do something about it if he does. And I’m not talking about a slap on the wrist either.
How does a license revocation sound? Yeah, not too good, but according to new CSAC Assistant Executive Officer Bill Douglas that’s exactly what Silva could be looking at if he fights overseas.
California State Athletic Commission Assistant Executive Officer Bill Douglas notified the American Top Team heavyweight by mail on Tuesday that Silva’s license could be revoked if he chooses to fight outside the state’s jurisdiction while under suspension for alleged steroid use.
If Silva fights, Douglas said he’d recommend that the commission vote to revoke the Brazilian’s license at a Feb. 10 hearing in accordance with California’s Business and Professions Code. The commission could agree to revoke Silva’s license for one-year increments until it votes to reinstatement him, not revoke the license, or alter his suspension.
To make matters worse, as you may already know, if one athletic commission pulls the plug on Silva, so will all the others. Basically, any commission that belongs to the ABC will have a “No Bigfoot Allowed” policy, meaning he might want to start getting friendly with the Japanese fans, because he’s probably going to be there a while.
So what’s Silva to do? Risk fighting for a short-term paycheck at the possible expense of his long-term career? Or play it safe and serve the remaining six months on his suspension?
While I don’t presume to know what kind of lifestyle Silva lives, he did earn a big fat $200,000 paycheck for the Eilers fight last July. I don’t recall his $100k win bonus being taken away for the drug charges, so assuming he didn’t give it back, after taxes, fees, insurance, training expenses, manager/agent’s cut, steroid costs (or at least money for it’s deceptive twin brother, you know, the one who did all the same bad things you did, just never got caught), and attorney fees, it’s probably safe to assume he had at least $50,000 left. I don’t know about you, but $50k after taxes is a pretty decent amount to live on these days where I come from. Assuming that’s the case, the decision should be a no-brainer.
Well, it would be, but my very unscientific attempt at figuring out Silva’s take-home pay could be wrong, or at least that’s what his manager would like you to believe.
“If Antonio does fight in Japan, it will be for financial reasons,” Davis told Sherdog.com via email. “We should not forget, Antonio is innocent, and the CSAC has not given him a fair hearing, and also did not ask us to, or let us provide further evidence that could prove this.”
“You know, the CSAC’s errors have become public, there is a whole list of things that were done wrong under this current administration, what has become obvious is that are many holes in the way they have been doing things, and it’s effecting honest peoples lives- it’s more like we are being forced to fight outside the U.S. for simple survival.”
All things considered, I’ll admit it’s pretty hard to disagree with Davis’ assessment of the CSAC’s handling of Silva’s case, and everyone else’s for that matter. Don’t worry though, Mr. Douglas assures you that all of the CSAC’s shortcomings have been fixed.
“The process itself, the testing as well as the chain of custody, has been completely cleaned up. It’s gotten a lot stricter to the point where it’s going to be really difficult for people to successfully appeal.”
Harder for people to successfully appeal, huh? And it was supposedly easy before? OK, whatever you say. What really matters is that fair testing and appeals processes are implemented so situations like this can hopefully be avoided in the future, and I’m not quite sold that it can be done in a matter of a few weeks.
Regardless, for now, it looks like Antonio Silva is stuck between a rock and hard place. Is the CSAC bluffing? Will he call them on it? We’ll find out soon enough.