War Machine Letter from Suicide Attempt: ‘I’m a Good Person with a Huge Heart’

Former UFC and Bellator fighter War Machine tried to commit suicide in his jail cell last week, getting saved at the last minute by a corrections officer.

Since TMZ reported that story, they have since been able to obtain a copy of the Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belt’s suicide letter from the incident

I die proudly when it is no longer possible to live proudly – Nietzsche. If you are reading this then it must be a rap. I refuse to live a parasitic life, relying on taxes and the generosity of friends for food and shelter, never being able to give back … To Christy, my one: I truly love you and planned on being with you forever … Finding what I found that night was devastating to me, more than you will ever know. Not just the unfaithfulness, but the way u cared for him and protected him … I’m a good person with a huge heart and everyone who knows me knows that, especially Christy. 

The three-page handwritten letter also has War Machinealso known by his birth name, Jon Koppenhaversay his goodbyes to friends and family members before saying “I was never meant to live in this era anyway. Follow your dreams and think for yourselves.”

The Ultimate Fighter alumnus is currently in the Clark County Detention Center and is facing 32 different criminal charges related to an alleged brutal beating of porn-star ex-girlfriend Christy Mack and former reality TV star Corey Thomas, per KTNV

While Mack is still recovering from the injuries she sustained on August 9, War Machine has previously stated he was “ambushed” by Mack and Thomas on that fateful night and only acted in self defense, per TMZ

A preliminary hearing was originally scheduled for October 17 but was postponed when War Machine’s attorneys began trying to work out a plea deal with prosecutors, per Las Vegas Review-Journal.

War Machine hasn’t competed in mixed martial arts in a year, most recently getting choked unconscious by Ron Keslar at Bellator 104 last October. 

 

John Heinis is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report. He is also the MMA editor for eDraft.com.

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Daniel Cormier on Jon Jones: ‘I Said Some Things I’m Not Proud Of’

There is something about Jon Jones that seems to unearth a whole other side to Daniel Cormier.

After enduring years of competition as an amateur wrestler, the 35-year-old former Olympian has grown adept in dealing with various personalities in a calm and subdued manner. But Jones has quickly become the one anomaly to the peaceful rivalries of Cormier’s past.

During a media event in August, an all-out brawl broke out during an intense staredown between the two light heavyweights in the MGM Grand lobby in Las Vegas. The infamous drama that unfolded that day culminated into a large dog pile onto the lobby floor, a flying shoe and UFC senior director of public relations Dave Sholler getting tossed into the set backdrop.

While the media incident managed to snag headlines, it was the off-air verbal exchanges between Jones and Cormier on the set of ESPN’s SportsCenter afterwards that really set the tone for MMA’s hottest new rivalry.

Looking back, Cormier admitted that he wasn’t proud of the way things unfolded, but his genuine dislike for Jones forced his hand.

On Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour, Cormier explained that there are just certain things beyond a fighter’s control when a feud is real:

It’s pretty cringe-worthy, actually, because you don’t really want to present yourself in that way. Jon and I, above all, we’re family men and we’re fathers. We’ve got kids. So you don’t really want to be portrayed like that because that’s not who we are at the bottom of it. But sometimes, when it’s real and you have a genuine dislike for someone, you can’t control it.

Some of the behind-the-scenes comments were so extreme that Cormier even hinted at crossing a line of some sort.

“It was bad,” Cormier admitted. “It was very insulting to him, and I said some things that I’m not proud of. I’m pretty sure he said some things he’s not proud of.”

The Nevada State Athletic Commission ruled on a hefty fine and community service as a suitable punishment for both fighters for their involvement in the media scuffle.

Despite the commission’s wrist slap, the ongoing drama between Jones and Cormier has played out wonderfully in the media. The MGM Grand incident and SportsCenter quotes have drawn more attention and interest to an already eagerly anticipated fight.

It’s moments like these that serve only to remind fans that MMA, like any other combat sport, will always be a sport with a flair for theatrics. People will always love a good fight between world-class athletes. Now combine that with a good storyline and real emotions. It’s a surefire recipe for a pay-per-view blockbuster.

The UFC has a bona fide blockbuster on its hands on January 3, when Jones and Cormier return to the MGM Grand Garden Arena to finish what they started back in August.

Only this time there won’t be any security around to break things up.

 

Jordy McElroy is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report. He is also the MMA writer for Rocktagon

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UFC: For Dan Hardy, Sitting Cageside Is Close Enough from Here on out

There’s no shame in being gone and staying gone. That’s true of life, but it’s particularly true of combat sports.

Sometimes you’re just done and you have no reason to go back; no reason to even consider it. It can be mental or physical, or maybe a little of both, but your run is over and it’s time to look to the future.

Unfortunately, a painful number of combat athletes don’t see it that way. They see retirement as a particularly long layoff between fights as opposed to a concrete out from a sport unforgiving to its elderly.

Even the smartest of the smart ones can’t stay gone.

For his part, colorful character-turned-color commentator Dan Hardy looks like he’s about to add his name to that list.

Recently, the beloved brawler who entertained UFC masses from 2008-2012 has begun to bang the drum for a return to the cage. Those two years of absence came at the insistence of a heart condition that manydoctors includedfelt would see him out of the fight game forever.

Until now, that looked to be the case.

Hardy had taken up a role in the commentary position on Fight Pass shows happening in Europe and the Middle East, and he was doing quite well with it. He’s intelligent and articulate with a knack for communication that much more seasoned color men of the sport don’t naturally possess.

But old flames burn brightly, and the flame to fight seems to be the hardest to extinguish in martial artists. Common sense and laws of reality be damned, sometimes you just have to punch someone in the face for a few thousand dollars.

And so Hardy, a never-undersized welterweight, now wants to get back into the UFC fray as a lightweight. He’s been training but not at an elite level, and dietary changes have contributed to him walking about nearly 40 pounds lighter than he did as a contender only a couple of years ago.

The name Diego Sanchez has been bandied about, but nothing has been finalized on account of Sanchez already having an opponent lined up and Hardy having no actual clearance to safely pursue his recent desires.

All of this is to say, in the simplest way imaginable, that this is bad idea. All of it. Hardy needs to stay comfortably in his position cageside, developing his broadcast skills and making a nice career for himself in doing so.

He, like many ill-advised combatants who simply refuse to go home, needs to accept that his fight career is best left completed and no amount of lost weight or enthusiasm to lay a beating on a grown man should come before that fact. It’s equal parts unwise and unsafe for him to continue the pursuit.

No one can say where this will end up. It could be anywhere from the best Dan Hardy the world has ever seen romping to a lightweight title to the worst Dan Hardy anyone has ever seen looking like a sick man trying for one last crack at glory.

Frankly, it doesn’t matter.

Given how he got to this point, the best place for either version of Hardy is cageside. That’s close enough to the centre of the Octagon for him, and for anyone who cares about the safety of athletes in the sport.

 

Follow me on Twitter @matthewjryder!

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Courtesy of :Bleacher Report – UFC

Fallon Fox: Transgender Fighter’s Success Putting Promoters in Awkward Spot

The controversy surrounding Fallon Fox was one of the biggest MMA-related stories of 2013. Of course, how could it not be? A male-to-female transgender was tearing up the regional women’s featherweight scene and was one of the star attractions in Florida’s Championship Fighting Alliance. While the coverage of Fox has faded in recent months, the story is far from over.

In 2013, Fox’s overnight fame was regarded by many as an oddity. A flash in the pan. Something that would ultimately wind up being a random footnote in the evolving story of transgender sports.

Eighteen months later, however, Fallon Fox is no longer just a curious tale…she is one of the better female fighters outside the UFC. That, ladies and gentlemen, is very bad news for all the major promotions out there.

Since news first broke of Fox’s transgender status, few MMA personalities haven’t voiced their opinion on the topic of Fox competing against women. Some, like former UFC title contender Liz Carmouche threw support behind a fellow member of the LGBT community. Some, like UFC heavyweight Matt Mitrionemercilessly ripped her. Most, like former Strikeforce champion Miesha Tate, expressed reluctance regarding the fairness of Fox competing as diplomatically as possible. 

It was one of the biggest MMA stories of the year, but while dozens of fighters spoke out, MMA promoters were deafeningly silent.

Invicta FC founder Shannon Knapp stayed securely perched on the fence when asked her opinion on Fox in an interview with MMAJunkie.com. UFC President Dana White passed the buck to the state athletic commissions and questioned Fox’s experience level. World Series of Fighting’s Ray Sefo was quick to sign Ashlee Evans-Smith after she defeated Fox in 2013, but remained mum on Fox herself. Neither former Bellator President Bjorn Rebney nor current President Scott Coker have discussed Fox. 

This was the smart move, of course. Condemning Fox would have brought down harsh criticism from organizations like GLAAD. Worse yet, it would have put an unwelcome magnifying glass on the historically terrible relationship between MMA (and the UFC in particular) and the LGBT community.

Defending Fox, meanwhile, would have put the respective promotions in an awkward “put your money where your mouth is” position. For example, if White had been completely supportive of Fox, how could he justify not having her on the roster, while employing the likes of 1-0 Aleksandra Albu or the 1-4 (1) Jessica Rakoczy?

Worse yet, if Fox actually wound up in the UFC, it would put even more of a spotlight on the less-than-enlightened comments of people like Mitrione which, in turn, once again brings out that magnifying glass.

The best-case scenario for all the top promoters, frankly, was for Fox to quietly fade away. It was most certainly a possibility, too, given how Fox was 37 years old when she became a household name and had just two professional fights. Had she retired after several months, or if she had shaken out to be a .500 fighter, the UFC, Invicta, WSOF and Bellator all would have been able quietly work around her.

Neither of those things have happened. 

Fox has put together what, in most cases, would be an attention-grabbing 5-1 record, with all her wins coming via stoppage. Not only that, but she has demonstrated an ability to compete at a reasonably high level at both 135 and 145 pounds, which would hypothetically enable her to compete for all four of the top promotions which feature (or will feature, in Bellator‘s case) bantamweight and/or featherweight women’s MMA.

However, as Fox continues racking up wins, it’s hard to look at her continued presence on the regional scene as anything other than major promotions actively trying to avoid her. Looking over those promotions’ recent and upcoming cards, and seeing fighters with even records (be it 4-4, 2-2 or 0-0), certainly doesn’t help that perception. The UFC, Bellator, WSOF and Invicta won’t be able to continue ignoring Fox for much longer.

Eventually, Fox will score a fight in Nevada. Eventually, Fox will get a big-name opponent. Eventually, Fox’s record will be too impressive to ignore. 

Eventually, the major promotions will have to take a stand on Fox, one way or another.

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Courtesy of :Bleacher Report – UFC

Jose Aldo vs. Chad Mendes 2: A Full Head-to-Toe Breakdown

UFC 179 plays host to the rematch between Jose Aldo and Chad Mendes.

Aldo won the first encounter by TKO and then ran out of the cage to celebrate with the feverish Brazilian crowd. It was one of the best sights in MMA. Pure joy.

Mendes has won five straight fights, four by knockout, to earn another shot at Aldo’s championship belt.

The Brazilian champion is one of the pound-for-pound best in the world. He is the last remaining non-American champion in the organization. He will enter in front of a friendly crowd with a lot of weight on his shoulders.

UFC 179′s main event is a true No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup, a rarity in sports these days. The UFC brings you the rematch the featherweight division has been waiting for.

Let’s break down the featherweight tilt from head to toe.

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Courtesy of :Bleacher Report – UFC