Jonathan “War Machine” Koppenhaver Lifetime UFC Ban Is the Least of His Worries

Many UFC fighters were seemingly born to fight, while others may end up fighting too much outside of the octagon. However, few UFC fighters have done deeds that were worse than what Jonathan “War Machine” Koppenhaver has done. Currently, he’s banned from the UFC, but that’s really the least of his concerns. 

A look at “War Machine’s” early career

Jonathan "War Machine" Koppenhaver being examined before a fight
Jonathan “War Machine” Koppenhaver is examined before a fight | David S. Holloway/Getty Images

Like many young up and coming fighters, Koppenhaver had a successful career before he joined the UFC. He had a record of 4-1, with all four of his wins coming by knockout or submission.

He got into the UFC through its reality show, The Ultimate Fighter, and he lost in his first fight. However, the UFC still took a chance with him and gave him another fight. 

He won his UFC debut against Jared Rollins, and it seemed like he had potential to be someone big. His fight with Rollins earned him a “Knockout of the Night” and a “Fight of the Night” award. But, in his next UFC fight, his opponent, Yoshiyuki Yoshida choked him out in less than a minute. 

Not long after this loss, the UFC released him from his contract. MMAJunkie wrote that this happened for two reasons. First, he declined a fight, and second, he made some unsavory comments about a UFC fighter, Evan Tanner, who had recently died. 

In any case, after the UFC, his career largely didn’t go anywhere. He’d win a few fights, but he’d also lose a few fights. He joined Bellator, which is a major MMA organization, but his personal issues eventually got the better of him.

“War Machine’s” horrific crimes

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Like many other athletes, Koppenhaver wasn’t able to keep it together when he wasn’t fighting inside the octagon. He’s had a record of getting into bar fights, and he had served time for those incidents. However, what really nailed him was what he did to his ex-girlfriend, Christy Mack, who’s a former pornstar. 

Rolling Stone said that Mack left him because of his “erratic behavior” and his “physical abuse.” He also wasn’t supportive of her career, despite the fact that he was a pornstar, too.

A few months later, she started dating another guy, and that’s when Koppenhaver attacked her and her new boyfriend. On August 8th, 2014, Koppenhaver broke into her home, beat up her boyfriend, and then forced him out of the house.

Koppenhaver then attacked Mack, both physically and sexually. Rolling Stone wrote that she had many broken bones, a ruptured liver, and broken teeth, too.

Mack managed to escape from this ordeal while he was busy searching for a knife, and not long after, the police arrived. By the time the cops got there though, he was long gone. 

However, 10 days later, he got caught when a hotel guest called the cops on him after they saw him get into “a physical altercation with a female” at the hotel. He was arrested without incident, according to Rolling Stone.

Jonathan Koppenhaver gets life in prison

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After going to jail, he attempted to commit suicide while he was waiting to go to trial. This attempt was unsuccessful, however, and in 2017, he was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole. He may get parole after he’s served 36 years, which means that he’ll be 71 by the time that he can get out of prison.

The UFC has also banned him and his nickname, so even if he somehow is both alive and in fighting shape by the time that he can get parole, he almost definitely won’t be allowed to fight in the UFC ever again. Similarly, other MMA organizations have banned him too, so he will more than likely spend the rest of his life behind bars.