OAKLAND PARK, Fla. – An Ultimate Fighting Champion fighter was being held in a Florida jail Saturday, accused of threatening his wife with a gun, authorities said.
Broward County jail records show that Thiago Silva, 31, was being held without bond following his arrest Thursday on charges that included attempted murder, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and obstruction without violence. But his attorney, Scott Saul, told The Associated Press that the charges were downgraded during a Friday court appearance to aggravated assault with a firearm and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.
Saul said he entered a not guilty plea on Silva's behalf.
Authorities said Silva took a gun to a mixed martial arts academy in Oakland Park and threatened to shoot his estranged wife, Thaysa, and her now-boyfriend, who called police and Silva drove away.
Authorities tracked him down to his home where he was holed up for hours until he surrendered. Authorities used a stun gun on him before he was taken into custody.
Ultimate Fighting Championship said on its website that it has terminated the Silva's contract, effective immediately. A message left with UFC was not immediately returned Saturday.
Broward Circuit Judge John Hurley noted during Friday's court appearance that there was no probable cause to support the attempted murder charges but ordered Silva held without bond after expressing concern about the nature of the allegations and said Silva, a Brazilian mixed martial artist, posed a flight risk.
"He's upset because he's been humiliated and he's in jail," Saul said of Silva. "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."
But a probable cause affidavit shows Silva had threatened his estranged wife on several occasions.
Thaysa Silva told deputies on Jan. 30 that she and her husband had been arguing over an extra marital affair when Thiago pointed a gun at her and said he was going to kill her, the report stated. He then placed the gun in her mouth. The same day, Thaysa Silva obtained a temporary injunction of protection against him.
On Wednesday, police say he sent her a text message in Portuguese that said "...you are going to die. I am going to hire someone to kill you." The next day Thiago Silva "had been drinking and extremely intoxicated" when he drove to the gym and threatened to kill his wife and her now-boyfriend who owns the gym, the report said. "I will go in the gym and start shooting everyone," Silva said. There were 25 people in the gym at the time, the report noted.
The boyfriend eventually called police and Silva drove off. He later went outside and then Thiago pointed the gun at him and Thiago threatened to kill them both, the report said.
The boyfriend ran inside and called police and Thiago drove off. He was later arrested at his home and appeared to be intoxicated and "uttered that he did not know what was going on," the report said.
The report said Silva and his wife had been married for 13 years, but Saul said the two were separated.