By: Albert Cameron – Every sport in existence has their heroes, their legends, and their immortals. Over a long enough timeline, MMA will have such Herculean figures as well. On the other side of that same coin, every sport in existence has their disgraced and shamed sports figures as well. Perhaps I’m writing this article to keep us all humble, or perhaps I’m trying to shed light on recent events as not being so bad (I’m talking about a fighter whose nickname rhymes with “Wayhem.”). This week’s Friday 5ive, we’re counting down five of MMA’s biggest scumbags.
Note: this list is not definitive, if you can think of other scumbags, leave a comment below or on any of our social media outlets.
WARNING: The recounts of the fighters and the crimes perpetrated may have traumatic stress triggers to survivors of violent or sexual crimes. Please proceed with caution and your mental wellbeing in mind. Thank you.
No. 5: “Iron” Mike Whitehead
Crime: Attempted Rape
Sentence: One to four years
Mike Whitehead was first introduced to the public at large as one of Matt Hughes’ heavyweights on season two of The Ultimate Fighter. On the show, Whitehead was notorious for being nose-to-anus on Hughes, in attempt to be a team leader; understandable, as they were both Miletich Fighting Systems (MFS) fighters at the time. Whitehead didn’t make it far in the competition, being decision by “Sugar” Rashad Evans. After being drummed out of the UFC via decision loss to “The Dean of Mean” Keith Jardine, Whitehead went on to fight for other promotions like the International Fight League (IFL), Strikeforce, and M-1.
During a barbeque at his home, Whitehead had guests that were intoxicated. Being the gentleman that he is, Whitehead offered his room to a female guest and her friend. According to court reports, one of the female guests woke up to Whitehead having sex with her. Whitehead continued for three to four minutes before stopping. Whitehead would be sentenced to one to four years in prison.
To this day, I won’t follow or support a Mike Whitehead fight.
No. 4: Jon “War Machine” Koppenhaver
Crime: Attempted Murder
Sentence: *Still awaiting trial
I saw a picture of Jon Koppenheaver wearing one of his Alpha Male shirts that said “I Do Alpha Male Shit” and was convinced that the only way for him to be portrayed as a bigger douchebag was to actually have a Summer’s Eve sticker on his face. The difference between Koppenhaver and myself is that he’s actually stepped into the cage and I haven’t. Right there is where the reverie stops.
War Machine’s public profile has been one hot mess after another. Koppenhaver is brought in as an alternate for the sixth season of the Ultimate Fighter, finding himself on Team Serra. War Machine (which is actually legal name as of 2008) was ejected from the competition after a loss to Tommy Speer. Koppenhaver was ejected from the UFC after turning down a fight from Joe Silva and making some bat shit crazy comments about the circumstances of Evan Tanner’s death, and then refusing to apologize for his words. War Machine then signed and was subsequently dropped by Bellator, again, because of his mouth. Although War Machine would eventually fight for Bellator, he was dropped because of his legal issues. What legal issues? I’m glad that you’ve asked!
(NOTE: The following account is an accusation; War Machine has not stood trial and has not been found guilty by a jury of his peers. He is innocent until proven guilty)
Jon “War Machine” Koppenhaver’s assault of his ex-girlfriend Christy Mackinday (Screen Name: Christy Mack) has been one of the most publically viewed MMA black eyes in recent memory. The relationship between War Machine and Mack had ended and Mack was at home, entertaining a friend. Koppenhaver forces his way into the home and proceeds to assault Mack’s friend (reportedly fracturing his nose and dislocating his shoulder). After that, War Machine opened up a can of “pro fighter vs. unsuspecting ex-girlfriend” on Mack. During the assault, she suffered several lacerations and fractures and required surgeries to repair the damage.
Regardless of what you think of Mack’s profession (adult film actress), dealing with a break up with your fists is childish. If Koppenhaver really wanted to fight someone to deal with his feelings, there are plenty of guys here in Pennsylvania that would have obliged him.
No. 3: Hermes Franca
Crime: Sex Abuse in the First Degree; Unlawful Sexual Penetration
Sentence: 3.5 Years
Hermes Franca is a very seasoned veteran, having bouts for SHOOTO, World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC), Hook N’ Shoot, and the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). There was a point when Franca was the topic of conversation as being a solid gate keeper, someone who just needed to find his rhythm before he got on a streak that lead to contendership. Franca’s latest UFC run ended with a TKO loss to Tyson Griffin.
In the world of martial arts, there is a real sanctity between instructor and student. That sanctity is why a student will address an instructor as sir or sensei as long as that instructor lives, its why that student trusts that instructor with information that could bring damage to life and limb. Hermes Franca violated that sanctity with a female student that had once called Franca “sir.” The major problem, the social disease in this story, is that the student was underage. A young woman’s life and trust in relationships period, not just with instructors, may have been irreparably harmed, at the hands of her instructor. Truth be told, I’m not sure if I could handle reading any more of the details in this case.
As a part of his conviction, Hermes Franca must register as a sex offender.
No. 2: Joe Son
Crime: Felony Torture
I highly doubt that any of us will ever be sitting around, talking about the history of MMA, and reminisce about how great of a fighter that Joe Son was. I doubt that film experts will ever talk about his film excellence either. In fact, Joe Son is so unremarkable that the only thing that I can recall about his fights is that he carried a cross on his back (guess he thought what worked for Kimo would work for him) and getting a five finger knuckle dusting in the groin from Keith Hackney. After his testicles got smacked around in the Octagon, he portrayed “Random Task” in the Austin Powers movies.
The weight of that much fame and accolades (read: being a tremendous fuckstick) apparently gave Son a sense of immortality. Son and an accomplice had kidnapped a woman on Christmas Eve and assaulted her at gun point, making heinous threats all the while. The details are hard to read and even harder to reiterate. Joe Son ruined a woman’s life, period. That woman will never trust a stranger, her dreams and subconscious will be haunted, and will probably never celebrate Christmas again. For as long as Joe Son lives, being convicted by a jury of his peers, he will live the rest of his life with the label of rapist.
Here is a gif of Joe Son getting hit in the nuts, on loop:
No. 1: Jarrod Wyatt
Crime: Manslaughter / Murder
Sentence: 50 Years
To quote South Park’s Mister Mackie: Drugs are bad, M’mkay?
According to the only record that I could find on Jarrod Wyatt he has one pro fight and one amateur fight, that he’s won by TKO and some mystery method, respectively. What’s weird is, what happened after Wyatt’s first pro fight in January.
According to court documents and reports, Wyatt and a friend had been imbibing psychedelics and hallucinogens. Albert Cameron isn’t an expert on drugs (or taking drugs by any measure), so I’m not sure how taking psychedelics leads to a man being dead, but it happens. When police and authorities had shown up, Wyatt’s friend was missing a heart, tongue, and face. The missing tissues were located, however, in a wood stove owned by Wyatt. According to the coroner’s report: Wyatt’s friend was still alive when organs were removed from the body.
Jarrod Wyyatt tried to plead insanity, but after a thorough mental evaluation, it was found that Wyatt was in complete control of his actions.
Thank you for joining us for the Friday 5ive. Friday is Friday 5ive day and the Prize Fight Podcast, be sure to check out CageNationTV.Com for the podcast. Until next time: Fights, Cameron, Action!