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Thiago Silva free to return to the fight game after yearlong ban ends

Disgraced light heavyweight Thiago Silva is one step closer to making his return to the ring after his twelve-month suspension for steroid use ended on January 1, 2012. However, it is not as simple as signing a piece of paper or agreeing to face an opponent.

The 14-2 Silva will still need to reapply for a fight license after having his revoked due to a pair of failed tests related to his UFC 125 victory over Brandon Vera in 2011. The bout was later overturned to a No Contest when two separate urinalysis samples revealed a substance that was inconsistent with human urine. Along with facing the ban, Silva was also forced to forfeit part of his bonus money earned against Vera. He admitted to taking two prescription steroids before the Vera bout.

Silva came out shortly thereafter to admit he’d attempted to fool the commission after having PEDs injected into his back as a means of healing from an injury.

“I did so in an attempt to alter the results of the test and knowingly broke the rules of the Nevada Athletic Commission,” wrote Silva of his cheating in an emotional statement to media. “This was a terrible decision on my part for which I will be punished. I am prepared to accept this punishment, learn from it and move on. I apologize to the Commission, the UFC, Brandon Vera and the MMA fans.”

The 29-year-old Silva was on the cusp of competing for the UFC 205 pound title when he suffered a knockout loss to Lyoto Machida in 2009. It marked the first defeat of his career. Since that time, Silva has defeated Keith Jardine, lost a decision to Rashad Evans, and had the controversial clash with Vera.