5 instances when UFC fighters physically hurt their own family

Greg Hardy has a history of domestic violence
Greg Hardy has a history of domestic violence
Modified 09 Jan 2021

Earlier this week, the mixed martial arts world was rocked with reports of UFC fighter Irwin Rivera being arrested for stabbing two of his sisters.

According to reports, Rivera admitted to attempting to murder his two sisters, as ordered by a 'higher power'.

Rivera's 22-year old sister sustained wounds to her back, head, and arms, while hi 33-year old sister sustained wounds on her back, face, arms, and hands.

While Rivera's case is significantly more extreme, it isn't the first occurrence of a UFC fighter being involved in violence at home. In fact, over the years, a number of UFC fighters have been involved in domestic violence cases.

5 instances of UFC fighters physically hurting their family members

Josh Grispi trained his pet pitbull to attack his wife

In 2014, former WEC and UFC fighter Josh Grispi was arrested for domestic abuse. Grispi had allegedly been abusing his wife for two years, and even went as far as to train his pet pitbull to attack her on command.

After being released on bail three days later, Grispi again attacked his wife. In 2017, Grispi would be sentenced to five and a half years in prison for multiple charges, including assault and battery.

Grispi was once an up-and-coming star in the WEC, and was even supposed to challenge Jose Aldo for the UFC featherweight championship. Grispi was released from the UFC in 2013 after four straight losses.

BJ Penn slapped with restraining order after allegedly abusing mother of children

In 2019, UFC legend BJ Penn was slapped with a restraining order that required him to stay at least 100 feet away from his estranged partner Shealen Uaiwa. According to reports, Uaiwa was the victim of verbal and physical abuse, and sexual coercion during the course of her relationship with Penn. Penn was also accused of pressuring Uaiwa into consuming cannabis and engaging in sexual activities with other men. This is just the tip of the iceberg with regards to Uaiwa's accusations against Penn.

Penn and Uaiwa have two children together.

In the UFC, BJ Penn is widely regarded as one of the best lightweights ever. Penn is a former two-division UFC champion, having captured the UFC lightweight and welterweight championships. In 2015, he was inducted to the UFC Hall of Fame. He lost his last seven fights in the UFC before being released in 2019.

Tony Ferguson displays violent behavior against wife and son

In March of 2019, UFC lightweight Tony Ferguson was also slapped with a restraining order after displaying violent behavior against his wife and son. According to Ferguson's wife, he had been "acting violent, paranoid and delusional for the past several months." It came to a point wherein Ferguson had pushed his wife and taken their son.

The following month, Ferguson's wife dropped the restraining order.

Tony Ferguson is considered as one of the UFC's top lightweight contenders today. Ferguson however, is coming off back-to-back losses to Justin Gaethje and Charles Oliveira.

Jon "War Machine" Koppenhaver

One of the most documented cases of a UFC fighter being involved in domestic violence is that of Jon "War Machine" Koppenhaver. In 2017, War Machine was found guilty on 29 of 34 charges in connection with the brutal beating of ex-girlfriend Christy Mack.

In 2014, War Machine delivered a violent beating on Mack and her then boyfriend Corey Thomas, leaving both with serious injuries.

War Machine was given an aggregate sentence of life in prison, with possibility of parole after 36 years.

War Machine rose to popularity in the 6th season of The Ultimate Fighter. He would officially compete once in the UFC before getting cut.

Greg Hardy's history of domestic violence

Prior to his UFC debut, heavyweight Greg Hardy made headlines for all the wrong reasons.

In 2014, when he was an NFL player, Hardy was arrested for assault and communicating threats to his ex-girlfriend. Hardy was found guilty and sentenced to 18 months of probation. Hardy would appeal the decision, and the charges were eventually dropped.

Hardy is currently 4-3, 1 NC in the UFC. He is coming off a TKO loss to Marcin Tybura at UFC Vegas 17.

Published 09 Jan 2021
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