Troubled MMA fighter turned convicted domestic abuser and attempted murderer Jon “War Machine” Koppenhaver was sentenced to life in prison yesterday in a Clark County courthouse. The sentence stems from his conviction in March on 29 charges, including kidnapping and sexual assault. The 35 year old will be eligible for parole in 36 years.
Koppenhaver was accused of attacking his porn star ex-girlfriend Christy Mack and her friend Corey Thomas in August 2014. Throughout their short, volatile relationship, Mack soon discovered that Koppenhaver was prone to violence outside of the cage and she was often the target of his rage.
The 911 call from Christine Mackinday’s home the night Koppenhaver attacked her and her friend Corey Thomas. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @rookie__rae
After entering Mack’s home to find her and Thomas in bed together asleep, Koppenhaver began beating Thomas almost to death. It was during that time that Mack was able to call the police and the chilling 911 call where Mack’s screams for him to stop is a reminder of the chaotic state Koppenhaver was in.
Mack claimed that the fighter repeatedly hit her in the ear with the handle of a kitchen knife, sawed off her Mohawk and beat her to the point of blacking out during the two-hour attack. He also attempted to rape her in the shower before stating, “now I will have to kill you; I went too far.”
Corey Thomas, the man found with Christy Mack the night of the alleged attack, describes being beaten by “War Machine”, a former MMA fighter on trial in an assault case. (Elaine Wilson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
In court in March, she said the next thing she remembered after the attack was waking up in the shower without clothes on before escaping through a balcony window to a neighbor’s home. Mack suffered a lacerated liver, a broken nose, two lost teeth and a fractured rib during the altercation.
War Machine was a controversial but weirdly popular MMA fighter who, although a journeyman, stayed in the headlines for his antics outside of the cage. Koppenhaver was an admitted steroid user who had a similar incident with an ex-girlfriend who was also a porn star, and he attacked a bouncer in a gay dance club in Las Vegas where he was a bottle boy. He often took to social media to rant about issues that bothered him and once even boasted of raping Mack.
Jonathan Koppenhaver, also known as War Machine, was ordered to serve 36 years to life after being convicted of more than two dozen charges, including sexual assault and first-degree kidnapping.
War Machine’s story is a cautionary tale for those who believe the fight life and the system surrounding it are as glamorous as it seems. With a proliferation of domestic abuse cases against professional MMA fighters, this ruling sends a stern warning.