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“War Machine” Can’t Stay Out of Trouble

By on December 1, 2009

War MachineOnce a member of the UFC’s sixth season of “The Ultimate Fighter”, and an exciting fighter who had a hugely memorable bout with Jared Rollins, Jon Koppenhaver, now legally named War Machine, has seen better days.

Since his fallout with the UFC that began with his comments on Myspace about the death of Evan Tanner (he said a number of things, including that he believed Tanner meant to kill himself by going out into the desert) and supposedly ended because of his his refusal to face Brandon Wolff, a string of controversies have surrounded the young fighter.

After being cut by the UFC, War Machine went on to win his next five fights against somewhat lesser competition, finishing each one before losing in early October by split decision to David Mitchell.  He had also recently taken up acting in porn to help pay the bills.

Now, War Machine is in trouble yet again- this time, for being involved in a huge brawl at a party for a fellow porn star’s birthday.  The stories coming from the party are varied, and many of the comments and testimonies are either ridiculously crazy or just plain hilarious.  Before we get into that, though, let’s go through a timeline of War Machine’s erratic behavior.

Sept. 2, 2007– Outside of his gym in the wee hours, War Machine is hanging out with friends when an altercation begins with Darren Zatkow, who was walking back to his car after going out drinking.  While the reason for the incident between Zatkow and the shirtless group of fighters and trainers is disputed, what isn’t disputed is that War Machine used a choke hold to render Zatkow unconscious.  Police then say that he struck Zatkow afterwards, as well.

Dec. 8, 2007- War Machine defeats Jared Rollins, a fellow cast member of the sixth season of “The Ultimate Fighter” in a thrilling fight that most agree was one of the best of the year.

Feb. 22, 2008- War Machine is sentenced to three years of probation in California for the assault on Zatkow.

May 24, 2008- In his second UFC fight, War Machine is choked out by Yoshiyuki Yoshida at UFC 84, evening his UFC record at 1-1.

Sept. 12, 2008- War Machine is dropped from the UFC after making comments about Evan Tanner’s death on his Myspace blog and declining a fight with Brandon Wolff.  In his blog, he said that despite the conclusions that the authorities came to regarding Tanner’s death, he believed that Tanner effectively killed himself by going out into the desert alone.  Furthermore, he blamed the UFC’s pay scale as a reason why a fighter like Tanner would (in his opinion) want to take his own life.  After he was cut, another blog entry was posted, this time blasting the UFC further for supposedly not having anyone represent the company at Tanner’s funeral.

Jan. 20, 2009- After signing with Bellator Fighting Championships, War Machine again gets into hot water over comments made on his Myspace blog, this time about President Obama: “All he is is a rich white guy with a dark tan,” War Machine said, adding later on that he hopes someone “smokes” Obama.  Not long after, he was released by Bellator Fighting Championships.

Feb. 7, 2009- War Machine is arrested in Las Vegas at Krave Nightclub, a gay club where he had been working by doing topless bottle service.  TMZ (which I can’t believe I’m mentioning) said he was being escorted out and started punching security members.  War Machine said in an interview that he was challenged to a fight by the doorman, with whom he had been having a rivalry of sorts with.  He said the doorman kept saying, “do something, do something,” and that he ended up knocking out the security worker with one punch.

Oct. 31, 2009- Abruptly, War Machine decides to work as in adult films, completing his first scene with porn star Riley Steele.

Nov. 20, 2009- On his Twitter account, War Machine writes a string of distressing messages, including:

“Please let me die tonight God”

“I can’t wait till’ I f-cking die!”

“Before I die I’m gonna take ALOT of people out first…trust that.”

“When I am ready to die I will kill many and then I will then kill myself and I will tape it.  It will be rad.”

“I give it 3 years tops till I decide to end this life.  All you mother f-ckers against me will go first, that’s a promise.  Sleep on that.”

Six days later, War Machine also says, “f-ck [Brock] Lesnar,” also mentioning that he wants to see Lesnar in a gay porn.  This strikes me as more suicidal than the other comments, somehow.

Nov. 28, 2009- War Machine is involved in a huge brawl at porn star Brooke Haven’s birthday party, where he apparently beats the crap out of over a half dozen individuals.

We can’t possibly skip the details on that bizarre night, however.  Here they are, pieced together from multiple sources:

–Slimy sports gossip site, as well as other sources, say that everything jumped off when War Machine assaulted his girlfriend, porn star Alanah Rae.  At that point, several people apparently attempted to intervene, none of which have a working knowledge of Brazilian jiu-jitsu or how to properly knee someone in the groin, Cheick Kongo-style.

–War Machine promptly lays out as many as 8 grown men, including his own porn agent.  The estimations of the carnage vary, but a broken nose, broken jaw and required staples to the dome were cited as some of the injuries sustained.  War Machine summed up the scene this way on his Twitter: “last night was NOT good…lil’ misunderstanding and then [War Machine] was back in effect and the bodies hit the floor.”

–Since then, War Machine has alleged (via his Twitter) that he was defending himself, with these comments: “Really sick of everyone targeting me all the time. All I ever do is want to have a good time. But it never fails that someone has to f-ck with me. Everyone wants their 15 mins of fame and at my cost. When a 6’5’’ 330lb bouncer picks a fight with me and I hit him once and take him down. I’m the bad guy? When a bunch of wanna be mobster porn agent f-ckin pimps surround me at a party cussing at me and shit and I am forced into war mode I’m the bad guy? Just because I am tough doesn’t mean I don’t get scared. Giant 300+ pounders intimidate me. Groups of dudes cussing at me and surrounding me intimidate me. I don’t want to get hurt. Wat if the giant dude or the group of men would have smashed me? It easily could have happened. Then they’d be the ones in trouble. So just because I’m capable/lucky enough to win against those odds Im a criminal?”

–War Machine was then a fugitive from police, even eluding to being in hiding on his Twitter, before turning himself in and posting bail.  In the meantime, what’s most amazing is that he has returned to flirting with porn actresses and joking with fans on his Twitter, as if nothing really happened.  Curiously enough, he did the same thing when he made his suicidal/homicidal tweets on November 20th, between which he would reply to friend’s messages with “lols” and comments on everyday subjects.

So, what can we learn from all of this?

First of all, we’ve definitely learned that social networking sites are absolutely horrible for some individuals, but popcorn-munchingly entertaining for the rest of us, as we get a front row view of so many unfortunately ill-advised comments by not just War Machine, but other fighters, athletes and celebrities as well.  So many times, the immediacy of the internet and the direct access between those with some fame and the rest of the world ends up becoming a recipe for disaster.  Seriously, someone needs to stop this man, before he tweets again.

Second of all, if you have ever done anything to piss off War Machine at any point in his life (which I suppose may include me, now), you probably should avoid him, just in case.

Finally, this poor dude needs some serious help.  I usually am not one to feel sorry for those who lack self control and hurt themselves and others, but something about this guy is different than with, say, Junie Browning.  This is not just a guy who can’t handle his temper and/or a stiff drink.  This is a man who is disturbed and needs professional assistance.

Who could argue, at this point, that a life of professional fighting and having sex on camera is in any way good for such a person?  Here’s a guy who has talked about killing himself and others many times in public forums, who has “Alpha Male” tattooed on his lower abdomen (not to mention a friggin’ grenade on his neck), and he’s currently spending most of his time satisfying one of the two primal urges that get men into the most trouble?

The sad thing is, fighting is probably the only thing that has kept War Machine from getting into even more trouble.  The real scary thought is: what’s this guy going to do when no one is willing to pay him to fight or have sex anymore?

E-mail Jon Hartley


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