Could Wanderlei Silva’s lifetime MMA ban be lifted?
Yesterday, Clark County District Court Judge, Kerry Earley, two hours of arguments in the case of Wanderlei Silva vs. Bob Bennett.
Who is Bob Bennett you may be asking yourself?
Bennett is a former Marine and FBI agent the current executive director of the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC). The very same commission to implemented a lifetime ban on the legendary mixed martial artist last year at a hearing.
The cause for Silva’s ban was due to Silva allegedly running out the back door of his gym and taking off when Bennett and a specimen collector arrived for a surprise drug test before his scheduled bout with Chael Sonnen at UFC 175.
Arguments were heard yesterday from Silva’s attorney Ross Goodman and Deputy Attorney General Chris Eccles who argued on behalf of the NSAC.
The primary question was whether the NSAC was in the right to order Silva to submit to an out-of-compeition drug test prior to the fight.
Goodman argued one of the biggest issues concerning the NSAC’s jurisdictional claims related to the commission’s increased focus on out-of-competition drug testing. Goodman argued the commission should not have any jurisdiction, and therefore no power to suspend or punish, any fighter not currently licensed in the state.
Goodman later contended that because Silva was not licensed by the state at the time, he should not be subject to any drug testing. However, Eccles countered that because Silva had taken part in a news conference promoting the event just one day prior to the random test in May 2014, he was representing himself as an unarmed combatant and contestant who was contracted to appear in the state as such.
After hearing both sides of the case, Judge Earley said she wanted to issue a ruling “as soon as possible,” but wanted additional time to review the numerous statutes and regulations cited in the argument. She said the matter will be added to her chamber’s calendar and set a deadline of May 11 to issue a decision.
So, could Wanderlei Silva’s lifetime MMA ban be lifted? It’s possible. Would the UFC let him back in however after all the trash talk that has ensued since the Brazilian’s retirement? Who knows?
Stay tuned for more.