Anderson Silva has been pulled from his Ultimate Fighter coaching role, despite the UFC initially letting him stay on in the role.
The UFC announced the news in a statement that said they've acted in accordance with a request from the Nevada State Athletic Commission. The commission are the ones who sanction the exhibition fights on the show and are the ones who've temporarily suspended Silva.
Silva out, Nogueira's in
The statement from the UFC has also revealed that Rodrigo "Big Nog" Nogueira will be stepping in for Silva as the head coach on the show. He'll lead the newly formed Team Nogueira against Team Shogun, who're coached by former UFC Light Heavyweight champion, Mauricio 'Shogun' Rua.
"Big Nog" is also going to be accompanied by his twin brother Rogerio "Little Nog" Nogueira, who'll be one of his assistant coaches on the show. Unlike most series of The Ultimate Fighter, there'll be no fight between the coaches at the end of the season, so the change won't have any effect there.
UFC still backing Silva 100%
Also revealed in the statement, was that the UFC are still backing Silva in his case against the drugs charges.
"The UFC and Globo, the show’s Brazilian broadcaster, respect the Commission's decision, which will allow Silva to focus his attention on the matter before the Commission," it read.
"The UFC and Globo, the show’s Brazilian broadcaster, respect the Commission's decision, which will allow Silva to focus his attention on the matter before the Commission"
"Anderson Silva has been an amazing champion and a true ambassador of the sport of mixed martial arts and the UFC will continue to support him as this process unfolds."
Silva will be bolstered by the news that a second pre-fight drugs test from January 19 has come back clean, with no steroid usage being found.
However, it could also be that he was cycling off the drugs at the time and didn't expect such an early test, but any final decision on that will be made by the athletic commission.