Things were looking pretty bleak for former UFC/Bellator fighter War Machine following his arrest for allegedly assaulting his former girlfriend Christy Mack over the summer.

The controversial mixed martial artist was facing over 30 charges stemming from the incident, with the possibility of receiving a life sentence without parole.

While that seems like an appropriate punishment for an alleged domestic abuser with a long history of violence, on Wednesday, word came out that War Machine would be seeking a plea deal with prosecutors. Now, this wouldn’t be a get out of jail free card for the embattled fighter, but no one should be surprised if he gets a significantly reduced sentence.

The justice system has proven time and time again that it doesn’t take domestic violence seriously, especially when it comes to high profile athletes.

Boxing champ Floyd Mayweather only served 60 of his pitiful 90-day sentence back in 2012 for beating up his ex-girlfriend.  More recently, Ray Rice received a ridiculously light slap on the wrist as he was accepted into a pretrial intervention program for knocking out his fiancee in an elevator back in February.

Now, War Machine is not nearly as popular as Mayweather or Rice, but that doesn’t mean he’ll get the book thrown at him.

In fact, many domestic abusers get off with minimal punishment – if any at all!

Going back to the Rice case, which was handled in New Jersey, one of the more “aggressive” states when it comes to prosecuting domestic abusers, it was clear from the get-go that the football star wasn’t going to be in for a lengthy stay in jail.

As the New York Times recently pointed out:

While state law mandates an arrest in cases in which there are visible injuries or a restraining order, there is wide latitude once a case enters the court system. Domestic violence cases are notoriously difficult to prosecute because victims are often romantically and financially bound to their attackers and are often reluctant to press charges.

The paper goes on to say that “state courts also operate under a ‘presumption of non-incarceration’ for first-time offenders in all but the most violent felonies, and conviction on third-degree assault charges rarely results in jail time.”

War Machine will likely get some time in jail as the case meets a lot of the criteria the FBI says leads to an increase in prosecution rates. Photos were taken, War Machine has a history of violence, the witnesses are being more than cooperative.

But even with all that, there’s a huge chance he still gets a lesser sentence.

Nevada, the state where he’s being tried, doesn’t have the greatest of track records when it comes to dealing with this issue, and the fact that they are willing to listen to a plea deal speaks volumes (not to mention that their poster boy, “Money” Mayweather, is the most notorious domestic abuser in sports).

I hope that, considering the recent string of headlines, the state will do the right thing, but I won’t be surprised if they don’t.

The justice system needs to do better when it comes to dealing with domestic violence and the first step starts with actually putting these scumbag behind bars for more than just a few months.

About The Author

Staff Writer

Matt Juul is loving college life as he pursues a career in journalism and cinema. A writer and pop culture fanatic, his interests and expertise range from arts and entertainment to the rough and tough world of mixed martial arts. Matt’s work has appeared in The Boston Globe, Boston.com, Bleacher Report, Fox Sports, and the New Haven Register.