To be truly great at anything, you have to be a special type of person. It takes selfishness, drive, and resilience. To be a great fighter, it takes all of those things, but you also have to be a little crazy. To be involved in a sport like MMA, where you are consistently put your health in danger makes you a different person than most.

Every sport has there scandals, personalities, and tragedies and MMA isn’t exempt. Some of the biggest names in the sport have found there way into major trouble. Some of the issues we’ve seen include: substance abuse, violent crime, and performance enhancing drug use. This week we will look the top ten troubled fighters.

1. Jarrod Wyatt
Wyatt only has one profession mma fight, but that was enough to make sure everyone new he was an “mma fighter” when the story broke about the awful crime that he committed. After drinking a hallucinogenic tea with his training partner, Taylor Powell, he committed one of the most violent crimes in history. Wyatt cut out Powell’s tongue, ripped out one of his eyes, cut off the majority of his face, and ripped out his heart while he was still alive.

2. Joe Son
As an MMA fighter Joe Son found no success. His entire pro record in mma adds up to four losses and no wins, so you may not be aware of Joe Son. You would more likely recognize him from his role in Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery. In 2008 he plead guilty to felony vandalism, but what came out later was much more heinous. Son’s DNA sample linked him to a 1990 gang rape. He was charged with conspiracy to torture and commit murder. He was found guilty on conspiracy to torture, and later found guilty for killing his cell mate. He is currently serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole.

3. Lee Murray
As a professional fighter he had a pretty good run, but as a human being he made some terrible choices. After committing the largest bank heist in U.K. history he fled to Morocco. He was later captured and is currently serving out a 25 year sentence for his crimes. Along with drug related issues, he also attempted to escape prison in Morocco, but was unsuccessful in his attempt.

4. Jonathan Koppenhaver
More commonly known as “Warmachine” can not stay on the right side of the law. He has a checkered past, with a long rap sheet. The majority of his criminal history is related to violent crime. In 2012 he was released from prison after serving nearly two years for a felony assault conviction. He returned to fighting, and had a remained present in social media. His relationship with adult film star, Christy Mack, was very public. In 2014 he went on the run after allegedly assaulting Mack and another a man. Currently, Warmachine is imprisoned and the trial is still underway. In total he is facing thirty two charges, one of which is attempted murder.

5. Alexander Emelianenko
While Fedor may be the greatest of all time, his brother is far from it. Alexander Emelianenko has been held in prison for the past year while his trial takes place. The charges levied against him are sexual assault, kidnapping, and forced use of narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances. The prosecution is pushing for a five year sentence, but Emelianenko has plead not guilty to all charges. He has admitted to having an intimate relationship with the alleged victim, but states that it was consensual.

6. Jason Miller
Jason “Mayhem” Miller’s nickname seems to be more than a persona that he developed for fighting. He has found success inside the cage, and on television, but can’t seem to keep things together. At first glance he appears to be a good person with good intentions, but he certainly has some demons that have translated into some public legal issues. Miller’s most recent arrest was once again very public. He was arrested outside of the “White House Bar.” The incident was filmed and you can see Miller resisting arrest while obviously intoxicated. Last year he live tweeted a five hour stand off with law enforcement, and he has been accused of domestic abuse in the past as well.

7. Jon Jones
Jon Jones is one of the greatest fighters in the history of the sport. That can not be denied, but he has been his own worst enemy when it comes to the decisions he makes outside of the cage. In 2012 he plead guilty to DUI following an incident where he crashed the a Bentley which was gifted to him by the UFC. In January of 2015 it was made public that he tested positive for cocaine in a pre-fight drug test. Lastly, he has been stripped of his title, and indefinitely suspended following an alleged hit and run incident which left a pregnant woman injured. His manager recently made comments that Jones may never fight again following his most recent troubles.

8. Quinton Jackson
Quinton “Rampage” Jackson is one of the most interesting personalities in MMA. He is extremely emotional, and that has led him to some great successes. Unfortunately, it’s also been his downfall on certain occasions. Wherever he goes, controversy usually follows. Currently he is involved in a legal battle with Bellator MMA over the contract he had with them. In 2008 he led police on a chase while driving a modified pick up truck that had a giant vinyl of himself on the side. During the chase a woman was hit while in her vehicle and she sued Jackson for causing her to miscarry. That accusation was unfounded. Jackson later explained that he was attempting to get to a friend who was about to attempt suicide. Though it sounds like his heart was in the right place, the decisions he made when the police lights came on where irrational at best.

9. Tito Ortiz
Tito Ortiz is one of the biggest names the sport has ever known. He was one of the first poster boys of the UFC and was a key player in getting the organization, and the sport to the place it is today. His loud personality and aggression translated into some of the best story lines, but in recent years the story line hasn’t been so great. In 2010 he was arrested on domestic abuse charges, but they were later dropped. Though the charges where dropped, the damage was done from a public relations perspective. In 2014, he was arrested on DUI charges after crashing his car. He could have gone to prison, but he plead no contest and was sentenced to three years of probation and required to attend an alcohol education program.

10. Nick Diaz
Diaz is one of the biggest personalities the sport has ever known. An athletic anomaly, he isn’t just a fighter, but also a triathlete. While he knows the rules of mixed martial arts, he continues to break them. He has failed in competition drug tests on more than one occasion for marijuana. Since 2013 he has been arrested twice on DUI charges, but has plead not guilty and the case is ongoing. There are also reports that while he failed one of his drug tests at UFC 183, there where two other tests administered which he passed.


About The Author

Michael Davis
Director, Business Development/Senior Staff Writer

Michael Davis is a seasoned professional in the world of finance. In recent years, he has worked for Fortune 500 companies and consulted at one of the largest hedge funds in the world. After working closely with a mixed martial arts management company, he realized he could apply his skills to the sport he loved. The culmination of his professional experience and passion for MMA have led him to his role as Senior Staff Writer and Director of Business Development at The MMA Corner.