MMA Fighters Arrested For Disturbing Crimes

The world of mixed martial arts is a world of violence, pain, and a constant battle for power. So it's no wonder that over the years, many MMA fighters have been arrested for various crimes ranging from assault and battery to drug possession. But there are criminals and then there are, you know, criminals. Sometimes an MMA fighter goes over the line and does something so egregious, you have to question the nature of the sport itself. Here's a look at some of the most disturbing crimes mixed martial artists have been arrested for. Prepare yourselves...some of these are pretty gruesome.

Joe Son

Let's be real here: Joe Son wasn't much of an MMA fighter. Over the course of his professional career, he amassed a less-than-stellar record of 0-4. His main claims to fame as a fighter? Wearing a leopard print thong, which made him a perfect target for then-legal groin punches. So yeah, he was pretty crap as a fighter, and would probably be completely forgotten if not for two things: he played the villainous Random Task in the James Bond parody Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, and he's a convicted rapist and murderer.

Yes, as terrible as Son was as an MMA fighter, he was an even worse human being. And he nearly got away with it: after violating parole on a felony vandalism conviction in 2008, Son was subjected to DNA testing, which revealed that he had kidnapped, tortured, and raped a woman in 1990. So was he repentant? Not exactly. After being sentenced to life in prison for the heinous crime, Son doubled down by beating his cellmate to death.

'Lightning' Lee Murray

Lee Murray began a life of crime well before he first stepped into the octagon, becoming a drug dealer and street tough while still in school. He was eventually convicted on possession charges, but managed to avoid serious jail time. After a sting operation bagged most of his drug dealer cronies. Murray decided to go on the straight and narrow by becoming a professional MMA fighter, where he earned the nickname "Lightning" due to his quick takedowns en route to a pro record of 9-2-1 in various leagues and competitions.

But then things went sour. After being stabbed nearly to death, he was forced to retire, and instead got caught up in one of Britain's most infamous crimes: the Securitas Depot robbery. Murray and a gang of accomplices kidnapped the manager of a bank, holding his family hostage in order to force him to open the vault. Murray and his gang then made off with an astonishing £53 million. His success was short lived, though; three months later the cops caught up with him and he's now serving out a 25-year jail sentence.

Jarrod Wyatt

Hope you haven't eaten anything yet today, because you're going to want to read this on an empty stomach. That's because the word "disturbing" doesn't even begin to describe the horrific crime committed by Jarrod Wyatt, an MMA up-and-comer who went 1-0 in his only professional bout before being permanently sidelined.

The story goes like this: Wyatt was training with his friend and sparring partner Taylor Powell one day in 2010 when they made the ill-fated decision to eat some hallucinogenic mushrooms. The shrooms worked a little too well. Believing he was battling Satan himself, Wyatt ripped off Powell's face and tongue, tore his still-beating heart from his chest, then roasted the body parts on a grill. Wyatt pled guilty to murder and is serving a 50-year-to-life sentence. There are no words.

Viacheslav Datsik

Viacheslav Datsik was never the best mixed martial artist in the world, but you have to give him credit for trying. Despite continually getting beaten down, the Russian heavyweight kept plugging away, eventually grinding out a 6-9 record before finally switching to kickboxing after losing six MMA bouts in a row. And he did pretty well with his feet, going 6-1 before mysteriously disappearing off the face of the Earth.

Then he reappeared and things got really, really weird. Turns out he was involved in a larceny ring that centered on stealing cell phones. After being arrested, he was sent to a psychiatric clinic, which he escaped from by literally tearing a metal fence apart with his bare hands. He then snuck into Norway on a boat, held an interview with Norwegian television where he declared himself a racist and Nazi supporter, and then turned himself into the cops while requesting political asylum. That bold maneuver didn't exactly work. After being extradited to Russia, he spent six years in prison, apparently training for a comeback. Well, that's less crazy than some of his other plans, anyway.

'Iron' Mike Whitehead

Unlike many of the other wannabes and failures on this list, "Iron" Mike Whitehead was a legit mixed partial arts power. Over the course of his career he amassed an impressive record of 27 wins against just eight losses while also starring on the SpikeTV reality series The Ultimate Fighter 2 in 2005. Maybe he wasn't a superstar, but the dude was legit.

He was also a rapist. Following a party, Whitehead reportedly was accompanied home by two female acquaintances. He allegedly raped one and sexually assaulted the other. As a bonus, when cops went to serve a warrant, they also found a stash of illegally grown marijuana. Facing four counts of sexual assault among other things, Whitehead struck a plea deal and got off light; after serving three years in jail, he's back on the streets, participating in MAA once again, this time as a registered sex offender.

Jonathan "War Machine" Koppenhaver

It's almost easier to list the crimes that Jonathan "War Machine" Koppenhaver hasn't committed than the ones he has. A contestant on SpikeTV's Ultimate Fighter 6 reality show, Koppenhaver compiled a career record of 14-5. But he was also thrown out of the UFC for being a jerk, which is not easy to do, while also putting together a rap sheet that included four different instances of assault.

Koppenhaver spent a couple years in jail for those attacks, but then he outdid even himself on the epic loser scale. In 2014, he was arrested on 34 counts including rape and attempted murder for an attack on his ex-girlfriend, adult film star Christy Mack, who suffered 18 broken bones and numerous other serious injuries. He then laughed at her in court, and claimed as part of his defense that you can't rape porn stars, because it's part of their job. He's currently in prison, still awaiting trial after a botched suicide attempt pushed back the hearings.

Jeremy Jackson

Finally, we have the bizarre and disturbing case of Jeremy Jackson. Yet another alumni of SpikeTV's Ultimate Fighter series, Jackson competed in several major tournaments while compiling a respectable professional record of 9-5.

His career came to an abrupt end in 2008, though, as did his life as a free man. That's because he broke into his ex-girlfriend's home, robbed her, and then raped her at gunpoint. Jackson swore he was innocent, but at the last minute he suddenly pled guilty much to the surprise of his own defense attorney. In fact, Jackson's lawyers weirdly continued to claim his innocence even after he pled guilty, saying that the fighter essentially just tapped out because he was tired of the "heavy mental burden" of the trial. Jackson is currently serving 25 years to life.