Koppenhaver Faces Felony Assault Charges

Ultimate Fighter 6 competitor Jon Koppenhaver faces felony assault and battery charges according to a report by the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Koppenhaver appeared in a San Diego court room earlier today for a preliminary hearing.

He is alleged to have attacked a man outside of a San Diego gym while he was in town visiting a former girlfriend:

During Thursday’s preliminary hearing, Darren Zatkow testified that he was visiting San Diego with his then-girlfriend when he was assaulted outside the club after a night of drinks on the town.

He said he was confronted by a group of men without shirts who surrounded him as he left the club. He said he was grabbed in a carotid choke hold and dragged a few feet from his friends by one of the men. Zatkow said he did not see who grabbed him from behind.

A witness who took the stand today stated that he only saw Koppenhaver hold the man at one point and that it was another person that assaulted him.

The preliminary hearing will continue tomorrow. If the case goes to trial and Koppenhaver is convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of up to seven years in prison.

Touch of gloves to MMA Junkie for the find.

Update 9:30 AM: The San Diego Union-Tribune is now reporting that Koppenhaver has pleaded guilty to the charges. However it doesn’t seem that “War Machine” will be spending any time behind bars:

Judge Frank Brown said the change in plea could result in a misdemeanor punishment. Zatkow told the court he thought a reduced punishment was OK because he believed a felony conviction would destroy Koppenhaver’s career.

“I’m not interested in destroying somebody’s life,” Zatkow said, noting that fighting should stay in the ring.

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