NSAC warns Anderson Silva
The right shoulder that middleweight champion Anderson Silva delivered to the jaw of Chael Sonnen during their UFC 148 weigh-in Friday in Las Vegas didn't sit well with Nevada State Athletic Commission officials.
NSAC chairman Raymond Avansino and executive director Keith Kizer delivered a strong warning to Silva minutes after his second-round TKO of Sonnen on Saturday night at MGM Grand Garden Arena.
It could have been worse for Silva. The commission could have hit him with a substantial monetary fine or revoked his license, which would have prevented him from fighting in the state.
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"It was the chairman's call and he decided to give a stern warning to Anderson," Kizer told ESPN.com. "Anderson has been a very good licensee over the years and this was definitely out of character for him.
"He understood at the end of the conversation. But it was very unprofessional, a very serious incident. I feel pretty confident that we won't see any action like that again. If it does, I don't think the chairman will be as kind."
Silva's manager/interpreter, Ed Soares, said he didn't expect similar actions from Silva in the future, as long as opponents respect his family and his native country of Brazil.
"Let's not forget, (Sonnen) talked about Anderson's family. The things he said he was going to do is a crime -- kick in the back door, walk in the kitchen and slap Anderson's wife on the (butt) and have her cook his steak medium rare," Soares said. "I believe walking into the back door of someone's home and slapping their wife on the (butt) is a crime anywhere in the world.
"That's what he said he was going to do. That right there is crossing the line. But two wrongs don't make a right." Silva, who is usually well-mannered before his fights, expressed disdain for Sonnen in the weeks leading to their Saturday night rematch.
Sonnen had repeatedly directed personal insults at Silva for more than two years. The taunting began months ahead of their first fight in August 2010 -- which Silva won by fifth-round submission.
The champ previously refused to respond to Sonnen's insults, but two weeks before the rematch Silva's anger reached its boiling point.
During a prefight media call, Silva vowed to do serious bodily harm to Sonnen inside the Octagon. They also had to be physically separated July 3 at the final prefight press conference.
But those incidents did not lessen Silva's anger. After weighing in, the fighters were brought together for one last photo opportunity.
While standing face-to-face, Silva threw a hard right shoulder into Sonnen's jaw. UFC president Dana White quickly got between the fighters to prevent further incident.
Kizer was a few feet away from the incident and took mental notes.
"We don't want anyone to get injured, either the fighters or anyone else who's up on the stage when stuff like this occurs," Kizer said. "We've all seen incidences, both here (in Nevada) and elsewhere, where there have been such occasions, unfortunately. It's important to know that's it's a privileged license and there are rules.
"If someone can't behave themselves or follow those rules before the fight starts what are they going to do when the fight actually starts? That was always the point with the whole Mike Tyson situation. The guy couldn't control his temper. Of course, we saw the one incident when he bit off an ear. This (Silva-Sonnen) doesn't rise to that level."
There were no more skirmishes between Silva and Sonnen after Friday's weigh-ins. Silva even had kind words for Sonnen after the fight.
But that wasn't enough to prevent a visit from Avansino and Kizer. According to the executive director, Silva seemed receptive to what they told him.
"We're not looking for him to fail," Kizer said. "We're giving him this strong counseling and this strong warning so that he doesn't do it again as well as other people not doing it.
"He got the message. I'm not looking for him to fail in the future. I'm looking for him to act like he usually acts going forward then that's great. If he cannot act in accordance with the proper levels of sportsmanship then he can go fight elsewhere."
While the NSAC has moved on, the incident might not be completely over for Silva.
"The UFC has informed me that they were very displeased with Anderson and planned to deal with it internally, regardless of what we did," Kizer said. "I don't necessary think it's over for Anderson as far as internal issues inside the UFC.
"I told Silva that if anything like this ever happens again that's probably going to be (Silva's) last, I don't know if I can use the word 'probably,' that will be his last fight in Nevada."