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Wanderlei Silva saga over, receives three-year suspension from NAC

Wanderlei Silva's long and winding road since evading a 2014 drug test finally has a resolution.

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

For almost two years, Wanderlei Silva has been in limbo. The former Pride and UFC star evaded a drug test ahead of a 2014 bout with Chael Sonnen, and was handed a lifetime suspension by the Nevada State Athletic Commission for it. After a series of legal wranglings, that suspension was thrown out by a judge.

Today, Silva's team finally had their chance to challenge the commission (who the case was returned to following the judge's orders) on their jurisdiction regarding the suspension. Silva's lawyer Ross Goodman grilled NAC head Bob Bennett about it for a while. Unfortunately, it didn't get him very far, with one NAC member calling the line of questioning "insulting".

Ultimately, Pat Lundvall wanted him to be issued a four-year suspension. Another member, Skip Avansino, lobbied for two years. In the end, they met in the middle. Silva was issued a three-year suspension, retroactive to May 2014. So he can return to the cage in May 2017.

The commission also ruled on his original $70,000 fine, deciding to rescind it since Silva never actually fought Sonnen.

Silva was also recently released from his UFC contract after apologizing for some comments regarding fixed fights in the Octagon.

For more on the details of the hearing, check out MMA Fighting's article on the issue.