Broward County, Florida police arrested UFC light heavyweight contender Thiago Silva after a SWAT standoff outside of the fighter’s home late Thursday night. Earlier that evening, folks at the Pablo Popovitch Mixed Martial Arts Academy in Oakland Park, Florida allege that an armed-Silva entered their gym and issued threats. Cops arrested Silva without incident after he had allegedly barricaded himself in his residence.
Silva faces multiple charges, including two counts of attempted felony murder and one count of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.
What precipitated the altercation at the jujitsu dojo is unclear. Silva trains at the Jaco Hybrid Training Center with the Blackzilians–so named because of the many African Americans and Brazilians competing there–and not under Pablo Popovitch. Silva’s wife, who competes in Brazilian jujitsu and boasts a black belt, has trained at Pablo Popovitch. “He is the best coach I’ve ever had in my life,” Thaysa Silva told the BJJ Times in 2012. “He is my inspiration as well as Gabi Garcia. They have both encouraged me tremendously.”
Silva is no stranger to controversy. After head-slap taunting of a thoroughly defeated Brandon Vera in 2011, he received a suspension for submitting non-human urine for a drug test. The subsequent suspension kept him out of fighting for a year. The hot-headed fighter frequently makes a throat-slashing gesture after his victories. He ran away from home in Brazil when he was a child.
Silva boasts a 16-3 record, with notable victories over Matt Hamill, Keith Jardine, and Houston Alexander. The UFC lists him as the twelfth-ranked fighter in its light-heavyweight division. He was scheduled to fight next month at UFC 171.
“This evening, we were made aware of a situation involving Thiago Silva,” a statement released by the fighting organization said. “We are in the process of gathering the facts and have no further comment at this time.”