Police seek MMA fighter in battery case

Mixed martial arts fighter War Machine was wanted Friday by Las Vegas police in connection with a beating that sent his “significant other” to the hospital, Metro Lt. Ted Glaud said.

“War Machine,” also known as Jonathan Koppenhaver, appeared in UFC’s Ultimate Fighter TV show in 2007 and was a Bellator MMA fighter, according to its website.

Glaud said Friday there is a chance Koppenhaver was headed to San Diego.

Koppenhaver’s manager could not be reached for comment Friday afternoon, because he was out of town. Bellator spokesman Anthony Mizzuca declined to comment about the incident early Friday, saying only that he represented the company and not individual fighters, but Bellator President Scott Coker later released a statement condemning Koppenhaver.

“We have a zero tolerance policy here at Bellator when it relates to any form of domestic violence, and after learning of this latest incident involving Jon Koppenhaver, War Machine, Bellator is releasing him from his promotional contract with the organization,” Coker said.

Koppenhaver is active online, and early Friday morning he took to the @warmachine170 Twitter handle and posted, “I can’t believe this … I must be cursed.”

About 1 a.m., he tweeted “Hungry…” and a flier for a weekend event involving his girlfriend, adult entertainer Christie Mack, at the South Point.

A short time later, he responded to a tweet questioning his relationship status with Mack. “f—- u talking about? She’s my Property and always will be,” he wrote.

His Twitter page also chronicles a run-in with a delivery driver and gives numerous descriptions of his libido, in which he laments how angry he gets when he has to go unsatisfied.

It was not confirmed Friday that his girlfriend was the “significant other” police said he sent to the hospital, but Friday afternoon Mack announced on Twitter that she could not attend the South Point signing because of a “personal emergency.”

“We are currently investigating allegations of a domestic dispute that occurred earlier today at approximately 4 a.m. in the 3400 block of Pueblo Way,” a Las Vegas police news release said. “During this incident two people sustained severe but non-life threatening injuries. Detectives are actively investigating this incident. As a result of this investigation, detectives have identified Jonathan Koppenhaver as the primary suspect.”

It isn’t Koppenhaver’s first problem with the law.

“Jon Koppenhaver is an explosive fighter with a troubled past,” ufc.com says.

Though he claims San Diego as his hometown, Koppenhaver’s page on Bellator’s website lists Las Vegas as his city of residence. He also has a record in Clark County.

In 2011, Koppenhaver was the subject of a negligence lawsuit against him; Kelly Murphy, former owner of the now-closed gay nightclub Krave; and Murphy’s company. A club patron alleged Koppenhaver beat him up while working as a bouncer.

In 2009, Koppenhaver was arrested on a felony charge of domestic violence with strangulation, which was dismissed, and a misdemeanor charge of domestic violence with battery. Koppenhaver pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charge and was ordered to do counseling.

Review-Journal reporters Adam Hill and Ben Botkin contributed to this story. Contact Wesley Juhl at wjuhl@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0381. Find him on Twitter: @WesJuhl. Contact Ricardo Torres at rtorres@reviewjournal.com and 702-383-0381. Find him on Twitter: @rickytwrites.

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