LAS VEGAS >> War Machine, a mixed martial arts fighter accused of brutally beating his porn star girlfriend in Las Vegas and fleeing to a Los Angeles suburb, told a California judge Tuesday he won’t contest his return in custody to Nevada, a sheriff’s official said.
The man born Jonathan Paul Koppenhaver waived extradition in Ventura County Superior Court following his arrest Friday at an extended-stay hotel in Simi Valley, Ventura County sheriff’s Capt. Don Aguilar said.
Koppenhaver was returned to the Ventura County jail to await transfer to Las Vegas on an unspecified date.
The 32-year-old Koppenhaver is accused of beating Christy Mack so badly early Aug. 8 that she told police in Las Vegas that she feared for her life and ran naked outside to seek help from neighbors.
Prosecutors in Las Vegas filed multiple felony battery, assault and coercion charges that could get Koppenhaver a total of more than 25 years in prison if he is convicted. He also faces a misdemeanor lewdness count involving the groping of Mack.
Mack, 23, who also uses the name Christine Mackinday, told police that Koppenhaver showed up unannounced at her home as she and a friend, Corey Thomas, were sleeping and began beating Thomas.
Police said Thomas suffered broken bones in his face before Koppenhaver sent him away with a threat that he would have friends kill Thomas if he reported the attack.
Mack told police that Koppenhaver then began beating her as he read her text messages, and continued after she showered. She later posted a statement online saying she feared for her life when Koppenhaver sawed off her hair with a dull knife.
Police reported that Koppenhaver punched and kicked Mack, who was treated for extensive facial bruises, fractures and lost teeth, and internal injuries including a lacerated liver.
Mack said she escaped out a back door when Koppenhaver went to the kitchen. She told police she feared he was fetching a sharp knife to kill her.
Koppenhaver became the object of a manhunt before he was captured Friday by U.S. marshal deputies and Simi Valley police. Police noted that Koppenhaver used to live in Simi Valley, about 30 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles.
A hotel guest told KTLA-TV in Los Angeles that she summoned police to the hotel after seeing a large man yelling, pushing and grabbing the hair of a woman who was trying to calm him down.
Koppenhaver made his Ultimate Fighting Championship debut in 2007 and legally changed his name in 2008. He lost his only pay-per-view bout that same year.
He fought out of San Diego for a variety of promotions and had a 14-5 record as a welterweight. He lost his last fight, in Iowa, last October.
Court records show that Koppenhaver pleaded guilty in January 2003 in Ventura County to misdemeanor resisting arrest.
In September 2011, he pleaded guilty in Las Vegas to a felony, attempted battery causing substantial bodily harm, and was sentenced to one year in the county jail, up to five years’ probation, and anger management and substance abuse counseling. A judge also ordered him to undergo steroid testing.
Defense attorney Ben Nadig represented Koppenhaver when he lost a bid to withdraw his plea in the 2011 case. Nadig said Tuesday he hadn’t been in contact with Koppenhaver about his current case.