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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / What Were They Thinking? Former UFC Star War Machine Sentenced to 36 Years to Life in Prison

What Were They Thinking? Former UFC Star War Machine Sentenced to 36 Years to Life in Prison

What were they Thinking?
Publish Date: 06/08/2017
Fact checked by: Simon Briffa
In our new series, will take a look at athletes around the world and try to figure out, “What were they thinking?’

The UFC is known as a destination for all things violent, but the company itself generally only promotes that kind of violence in the ring. Jon Koppenhaver, who legally changed his name to war Machine, took the violence out of the ring and onto the front page.

War Machine was originally discovered when he was a contestant on TUF, the UFC’s premier reality show offering everyday Joes the opportunity to win a contract. He didn’t win, but as with several contestants on the show, he eventually ended up fighting for the MMA superpower. The fighter moved on to a brief career with Bellator, and even more briefly for Independent Promotions.

He expanded his resume when he started doing porn in 2009 and was featured in 12 adult films. During his career as an adult film star, he met Christy Mack, a fellow porn star. The two started dating, which ended in drastic fashion.

War Machine was charged and convicted of the brutal assault of Mack and her boyfriend, Corey Thomas. The laundry list of convictions included attempted murder and sexual assault with a weapon.

What the hell was he thinking?

Nothing. He obviously wasn’t a disciplined individual, and he made a clear case for psychological screening in sports. There’s a certain amount of raw aggression needed to be an effective fighter, so that’s a key component of being a good fighter. Because of that aspect of the sport, screening is unfortunately not an option. But it begs the question: how many athletes would be left if they did?

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