This must be what it feels like these days to cover the NFL.
Two cases of domestic violence, an athlete holding a gun, allegations of drug use and an unhappy fighter ripping his organization highlighted the news that happened Friday in the UFC.
Iconic light heavyweight Wanderlei Silva, one of the most popular fighters in mixed martial arts history, announced his retirement in a sometimes rambling video he posted on YouTube in which he blasted the UFC for the way it treated fighters and for underpaying them.
Earlier in the day, the company announced in a terse statement it posted on its website that it had indefinitely suspended light heavyweight Anthony Johnson, who is No. 5 in its ratings, after the mother of two of his children obtained a temporary protective order against him. She told police he'd knocked out two of her teeth in 2012.
The UFC noted in its statement it had hired "a third-party law firm" to investigate the allegations against Johnson, which he denies.
Also on Friday, the UFC dropped light heavyweight fighter Thiago Silva (no relation to Wanderlei Silva) after his ex-wife posted a video of him holding a gun while she said he is high on drugs.
Thiago Silva was arrested in February in Florida and charged with two counts of attempted murder, among other charges. Charges were later reduced to two counts of aggravated assault with a firearm. Thiago Silva had been accused of putting a gun in his ex-wife's mouth.
He barricaded himself in his home and the SWAT team surrounded it. He was tazed by a police officer and was taken into custody without incident.
Charges were later dropped because prosecutors learned his ex-wife had moved out of the country and wasn't cooperating.
Incredibly, Thiago Silva was reinstated on Sept. 5. UFC president Dana White defended the move by saying that Silva had gone through the legal process and had come out "untainted."
But when Silva's wife released a video Friday apparently taken while the couple was still married that showed him holding a gun while she said he was high on drugs, the UFC swiftly released him. His ex-wife, Thaysa Kamiji, told MMA Fighting that she's moved to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates with her new husband, MMA trainer Pablo Popovitch.
The last bombshell dropped late in the day when Wanderlei Silva, who has been battling the Nevada Athletic Commission for avoiding a drug test, announced his retirement in an extraordinary and frequently emotional video.
Wanderlei Silva said he had lost his desire to fight because of the actions of UFC management. He blasted them over their treatment of former bantamweight champion Renan Barao, saying they'd made him fight too often, and didn't allow his body time to recover from fighting and having to cut weight. Wanderlei Silva said the reason Barao couldn't make weight for his rematch with T.J. Dillashaw at UFC 177 on Aug. 30 is because he'd trained almost non-stop for six months.
"He lost the belt and then had to fight the rematch right away," Wanderlei Silva said of Barao on his video, in which he was speaking Portuguese with English subtitles. "After that, his body couldn't handle it and he passed out while cutting weight."
Wanderlei Silva said the UFC tried to force him to fight when he told them he was injured and not prepared. He then blasted company officials for what he said was a lack of respect and for failing to pay fighters fairly.
"I feel that I don't have a dignified stage where the athletes are respected," he said. " ... The few fighters who have a name are forced to fight all year long, because they want to make 50 events a year."
Later he said athletes aren't paid well, "only crumbs."
"They use us to make rivers of money because this event is making a lot of money," Wanderlei Silva said.
He failed to address his drug test issue with the Nevada commission. On May 23, a collector was sent by the commission to his gym to take a sample since he'd attended a news conference that day to promote a planned July 5 fight against Chael Sonnen.
Wanderlei Silva declined to be tested and the Nevada commission viewed it as a failed test. But Silva fought the suspension and his attorney filed a motion to dismiss the complaint. Ross Goodman, Silva’s attorney, contends that the commission doesn't have jurisdiction because he wasn’t licensed at the time.