UK & World News

  • 9 February 2014, 6:56

UFC Fighter Thiago Silva Held Over Gun Claim

A veteran cage fighter is being held in custody accused of threatening his estranged wife with a gun.

Brazilian mixed martial artist Thiago Silva was arrested by a SWAT team after barricading himself inside his south Florida home, said police.

Officers used a Taser "stun gun" to detain him after he refused to surrender, according to the Broward County Sheriff's Office.

The 31-year-old who fought in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) was initially charged with two counts of attempted murder, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and obstruction without violence.

However, the attempted murder charges were reduced by a judge on Friday to aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Silva was also ordered to be held without bail, as he was deemed a flight risk and a danger to his wife.

His attorney Scott Saul said he entered a not guilty plea on Silva's behalf.

Mr Saul said: "He's upset because he's been humiliated and he's in jail.

"He's been very unfairly treated as some type of aggressive animal just because he's a professional athlete.

"There are no marks on this woman's body. He's not accused of ever hitting her.

"When I'm dealing with him, I'm dealing with the perfect gentleman."

Ultimate Fighting Championship says on its website that it has terminated Silva's contract.

Silva's arrest followed a series of incidents involving police over alleged threats made against his wife, Thaysa Silva, from whom he has been separated since 2012.

According to official records the allegations included putting a gun in his wife's mouth, and also sending her a text message in which he said: "...you are going to die. I am going to hire someone to kill you."

It was on Thursday that authorities claim Silva took a gun to a mixed martial arts academy in Oakland Park and threatened to shoot his wife and her current boyfriend.

The boyfriend called police and Silva drove off. He was later arrested.

UFC fighters use a mix of martial arts, including boxing, kickboxing, wrestling and karate.

It is reported that after testing positive for marijuana in 2012, Silva agreed to a six-month ban from the sport and went into drug rehab.

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