As the calendar shifts to 2012, Thiago Silva (14-2, 1 NC) is ready to put 2011 behind him.
With New Year's celebrations in the books, Silva's one-year suspension has officially been lifted. The former UFC contender is cleared to reapply for a fighting license from the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC).
Once a surging force in the 205-pound division, Silva's hype train hit a screeching halt following his UFC 125 victory over Brandon Vera. A post-fight drug test discovered the 29-year-old's urine to be "inconsistent with human urine," indicating that Silva knowingly submitted synthetic urine in an effort to dupe the test results.
To his credit the Brazilian quickly acknowledged his mistake, explaining how a back injury 45 days out from the fight led to a series of spinal injections of NSAC banned substances meant to coax a swift recovery. Silva went on to describe his decision as an act of desperation, as the fighter had already been out for a year and his family was in dire financial straits.
"These decisions were mine and mine alone," Silva wrote. "I did not share this information with anyone prior to the fight for fear that I would not be allowed to fight. I obviously made a terrible decision. I have since learned that it may have even been possible to fight had I been open and honest and disclosed the injury and treatment prior to the fight.
"I also realize that not being allowed to fight as a result of the treatment would have been a better result than the mess into which I have now gotten myself. Again, I take full responsibility for making the decision to break the rules and try to cheat the system. I will accept the punishment I receive and will learn from this."
The NSAC ultimately handed down a one-year suspension and fined Silva $33,750 of his $55,000 UFC 125 fight purse for his transgressions. He will be required to appear before the NSAC before being granted a license to fight in the state of Nevada.