Earlier this year, Thiago Silva was involved in a police stand off and some serious assault and domestic violence charges leading to Dana White saying he would never fight for them again. After going back on these claims and surprisingly bringing him back to the promotion, the UFC president has since released an official statement on the light heavyweight's return:
"When this thing went down, I said he'd never fight in the UFC again. When I watched it unfold on TV and heard of the charges, it didn't look good for Thiago Silva," White said. "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," White said. "He deserves to be able to make a living again. He's back under contract."
Silva was originally charged with two counts of felony attempted murder, which prosecutors downgraded to two counts of aggravated assault with a firearm. Reports say these charges against Silva have been dropped as his wife was 'uncooperative' and has left the country. That being said, there's a distinct difference between having charges dropped and actually going through due process to be found as 'not guilty'.
The choice to bring back Silva would surely come under fire, especially with past decisions to release fighters such as Will Chope because of their 'zero tolerance' policy on domestic violence, and banning fighters like Jason High or Paul Daley for seemingly less grave offenses.
One possible angle though -- and this could be what White was implying -- is that with charges against Silva being dropped, the UFC may not have a legal basis to release him anymore. On the other hand, the three 'banned' examples mentioned above, also lost each of their last UFC outings apart from breaking the rules with their offenses, making it well within the promotion's rights to let them go.