Thiago Silva always had the “it” factor inside the cage. A talented fighter with seemingly unlimited potential, the Brazilian will likely never get the chance to achieve that potential.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock in the MMA world, you’ve seen the story of Silva threatening his estranged wife and her boyfriend, Pablo Popovitch, at Popovitch’s jiu-jitsu gym. It also wasn’t the first time Silva had issues with his wife.

It’s just one more example of how the Brazilian has always been his own worst enemy.

Silva ran his professional mixed martial arts record to 13-0. At UFC 94, he lost to Machida, but Silva rebounded with a vicious knockout of Keith Jardine at UFC 102. Although he then lost to Rashad Evans at UFC 108, Silva remained in good standing with fans. It wasn’t until UFC 125 when Silva’s career headed into a downward spiral.

Silva dominated his UFC 125 opponent, Brandon Vera, from bell to bell. Fans might even recall Silva playing the drums on Vera’s back in the middle of the fight and delivering numerous open-palm slaps. Vera’s broken nose following the contest would become one of the more memorable images in recent memory.

Following the contest, though, Silva was suspended and fined over $30,000 for attempting to use synthetic urine for his UFC 125 drug test.The Brazilian used the “I was injured” excuse that hadn’t yet worn out its welcome and had worked very well in other professional sports. It was enough for the UFC, and Silva returned in 2012 to face Stanislav Nedkov. The Brazilian found his hand raised once again.

It seemed that Silva was once again back in the good graces of MMA fans. That all went out the window when Silva failed yet another drug test, this time testing positive for marijuana, and saw another win overturned. The Brazilian was suspended for six months and sent to a drug rehab program. With the multiple failed drug tests, Silva had earned a reputation as being someone who was unreliable at performing their job. He had always been an exciting fighter inside the cage, but he couldn’t stay out of trouble once the fights were over. Whatever personal issues Silva encountered outside the Octagon seemed to effectively override any success he’d find in the cage.

After earning “Knockout of the Night” and “Fight of the Night” bonuses for defeating Rafael “Feijao” Cavalcante, Silva entered the Octagon a different fighter against Matt Hamill. Silva appeared completely out of shape, failed to make weight and was sluggish throughout the contest. Yet, Silva won the fight and managed to keep his name out of headlines following the contest…until the incident with his estranged wife.

The story set the internet ablaze with questions about what had happened and why. Although Silva has yet to be found guilty of anything, UFC President Dana White was quick to say Silva will never compete in the UFC again. There won’t be any question in the minds of MMA fans after hearing the details of how Silva’s personal life has become what it is today. He’s facing some serious legal punishment and even if he somehow manages to come back to the world of MMA, it’s hard to imagine anyone taking a chance on the Brazilian.

Just looking at his MMA career in the cage, it’s clear Silva was one of the best competitors during his time in the UFC. His only losses came to a pair of former UFC champs and one opponent who will likely find UFC gold around his waist at some point in his MMA career. Silva only went to the judges’ scorecards twice out of his 16 victories. When fans saw the Brazilian on a fight card, they knew they were in for a good time. That was an invaluable asset for the UFC. There are very few fighters the promotion can put on cards that produce excitement no matter what, and Silva was one of them.

More details about Silva’s personal life will emerge as he has his day in court, but it’s already obvious that the light heavyweight fighter has become his own worst enemy. Had Silva put everything together outside of the cage, he could have gone on to contend for UFC gold. Instead, Silva will become a cautionary tale for future fighters.

About The Author

Kyle Symes
Staff Writer

Kyle is a recent graduate of Aurora University, where he obtained a Bachelor's in Communications. Kyle resides in Illinois, just outside of Chicago. He played baseball and football in both high school and college, but is now focusing on an amateur MMA career.