Silva has accepted an offer to face Yoshihiro
Nakao at World Victory Road’s upcoming Sengoku event on Jan. 4
in Saitama, Japan, confirmed his manager Alex Davis on Sunday.
The American Top Team heavyweight’s decision comes in the wake of a
letter received last week from California State Athletic Commission
Assistant Executive Director Bill Douglas, who said he will
recommend Silva’s license be revoked if he does not adhere to a
suspension imposed on him last July.
Silva, 28, was suspended for one year after allegedly testing
positive for Boldenone following his July 26 contest against
Eilers at an EliteXC event in Stockton, Calif.
The EliteXC heavyweight champion, his manager Alex Davis, and
world-renowned doping attorney Howard Jacobs appealed the fighter’s
sentence on the grounds of a “false positive” at a CSAC hearing on
Oct. 22 in Los Angeles. Five commissioners voted to unanimously
uphold the suspension through July 27, 2009.
“Antonio has decided to fight, he really has no option,” wrote
Davis in an email to Sherdog.com. “He’s innocent, he’s tried to
prove it and it fell on unwilling ears, and he has financial
commitments that to not meet would have serious consequences for
him. In light of these, he has decided to continue his career in
Japan until when and if his situation with the CSAC is
If Silva competes, Douglas said the fighter will be in direct
violation of a statute within California’s Business and Professions
Code. Douglas said he’d be forced to recommend that the commission
vote to revoke the Brazilian’s license at a Feb. 10 hearing. If
passed, Silva’s California license could be frozen in one-year
increments until the commission voted again to reinstatement him.
The commission could also vote to not revoke the license, alter
Silva’s suspension, and impose a fine.
Douglas said a license revocation would be filed with the National
Suspension Registry, and would likely be honored by other
regulatory bodies throughout North America.
In addition, any licensed parties found to have aided Silva in
competing outside the state while under suspension would be subject
to disciplinary action, according to the statutes. Silva’s manager
Davis said he is not licensed as a second in California.
Silva has decided to move forward as the future of Pro Elite, the
parent company of EliteXC, seems to be coming into focus. In recent
weeks, select executives of Pro Elite have made a bid to regain the
remaining assets of the Los Angeles company that ceased operations
in late October. There is evidence the company will attempt to rise
under new ownership and continue its broadcast relationship with
both CBS and Showtime if allowed to.
Pro Elite was said to have some 80 fighters under various forms of
contract when it closed its doors on Oct. 22. Silva’s heavyweight
championship was never officially rescinded by the promotion after
his appeal proved fruitless.
Though other Elite-contracted fighters like Scott Smith
have contacted the promotion and been granted permission to accept
single-fight assignments to compete in other promotions while Pro
Elite’s direction is decided, Silva’s manager Davis said he has not
had that same experience.
“There is no one in charge at Pro Elite,” wrote Davis. “All this
talk of resurrection, although it would be great it is just talk.
There are no events scheduled. Our agreement was that Antonio would
be able to fight in other events, as long as they agreed, but there
is no one there to agree.”
The 6-foot-4, nearly 300-pound Silva (11-1) burst onto the scene in
March 2005. Nearly all of the towering Brazilian’s victories have
come by way of his fists, with his only loss against fellow heavy
Pele at a Bodog Fight event in December 2006. Silva went 4-0 in
EliteXC’s heavyweight ranks, earning a notable split decision win
over former UFC heavyweight champion Ricco
Rodriguez last February.
Nagao (7-1, 2 NC) is best known for his fateful New Year’s Eve 2005
staredown with Heath
Herring, in which the Texan flattened Nakao for kissing him on
the lips prior to the bout.