February 19, 2009
Does the fighter formerly known as Jon Koppenhaver look like he's turned over a new leaf? You be the judge. Cage Writer was fortunate to get a long sitdown with fighter/internet legend
Jon Koppenhaver War Machine. The guy is trying to turn the page after a lot of troubles away from the cage/ring. Machine was first seen on The Ultimate Fighter 6 where he was protrayed as a guy who was slightly unbalanced and facing a tougher mental fight outside the cage than in the Octagon. Then in September of 2007, he got into a fight in San Diego where he choked someone out near his training . Most recently, he was arrested last week in Las Vegas for a fight at Krave Nightclub.
Mr. Machine wanted to give some clarity on the San Diego dust-up for which he received a misdemeanor battery charge:
"That was being nice. That's nice to choke him out. If we wanted we could smash his whole body apart. A choke is nice and quiet, you take a little nap. No harm done."
His version of the story was that someone crashed a party at Undisputed Fitness and Training Center and got mouthy. Darren Zatkow, the victim was choked and beaten. Machine says he did choke Zatkow but didn't throw any punches. Zatkow did eventually request that the charge be dropped from a felony to a misdemeanor. Machine received three years probation and a $2,300 fine. He told Cage Writer that he's approached all the time and challenged to fights but he's only snapped a few times. He doesn't think that it's fair he has to walk away from fights simply to protect the weak.
Watch Koppenhaver in studio at ESPNRadio1100 in Las Vegas:
His most recent scrap was with a co-worker at Krave where Machine was a server. He explained that he felt threatened and intimidated when the "6-foot-4, 320 pound' bouncer challenged him to a fight. The MMA fighter knocked him down with one punch. He's a little irked that the guy, who he says agreed to a mutual fight, is now whining about injuries.
What do you think will happen down the road with Koppenhaver? He's now training full-time in Las Vegas at Xtreme Couture.
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