Domestic violence is a real thing, alright? Over the past few months in MMA we’ve been hearing loads about it, from Thiago Silva to Josh Grispi to War Machine. In all three of those cases things have seemed pretty open and shut, with the professional fighter dudes being very clearly in the wrong and showing clear signs of having a few screws loose. Of course, a good portion of the MMA community don’t agree with that, which is kind of unfortunate, but what can you do? I’m not here to brow beat you about regressive opinions or to try to change anyone’s mind.
The UFC rehired Thiago Silva in a move that came at a really, really bad time for them to do so. The former Baltimore Raven Ray Rice has been in the news constantly over the past few weeks over a domestic violence incident from earlier this year that finally got some closure when TMZ leaked the awful video of him knocking out his then-girlfriend, now-wife. Domestic violence is on the tip of everyone’s tongues, so rehiring a guy who was arrested on domestic violence charges, then terrorizing people with guns and had a standoff with police seems like a really, really bad idea.
Dana’s way of rationalizing it is kind of embarrassing, too. Basically; there was no video, he’s not in jail, the charges went away, why not hire him back?
The charges “went away” because his wife literally fled the country to go to Brazil. She didn’t want to be there anymore, didn’t want to be a part of this whole messed up life that they created together. There is no way around it, that is a really strange thing to do, but apparently her doing so has made it impossible for a Florida court to proceed after losing their main witness. Thiago Silva wasn’t found innocent, they were just unable to do anything without his wife’s testimony. There is clearly something very, very wrong here for a woman to pack up and leave her life behind her. We are definitely missing some pieces of this puzzle.
If you are somehow unaware of how victims of domestic violence can act, there might be some cues to lead you to believe that she forgave Thiago for everything. After all she did have the injunction for protection against him dismissed and had made attempts to see him, right? Relationships are complicated things and sometimes one person can be violent, awful and controlling and it can wreak havoc on the other person, playing to their emotions and fears. The victim can sometimes feel sympathy for their abuser, or afraid of what will happen if they leave.
She at one point felt that she was a victim of domestic violence and she for some reason decided to give up on the case altogether at some point. Is that really enough for Thiago Silva to get an invitation right back into the loving arms of the UFC? Apparently, which is a confusing message. The UFC will fire someone on the spot for claims of domestic violence, but then as long as you can beat the charges you are welcomed back. That wasn’t much of a ban for Thiago Silva or that hard line of a stance by the company, was it? If his employment was dependent on the outcome of the case, why fire him to begin with?
Everyone deserves a second chance, but to be gleefully resigned almost immediately? I dunno. If the UFC had a sliver of the media attention that the NFL has there is no way that they’d be able to pull a stunt like this without being crucified publicly, that’s for sure.