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Arrest warrant issued for MMA fighter in Vegas assault

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  • Las Vegas police say former UFC fighter Johathan Koppenhaver, aka War Machine, is the is the primary suspect in a domestic dispute that resulted in serious injuries. (AP Photo/Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)

LAS VEGAS » A judge has issued an arrest warrant for a mixed martial arts fighter and porn actor accused of assaulting his ex-girlfriend after showing up in the middle of the night at her Las Vegas home.

The fighter known as War Machine, who appeared on the reality show "The Ultimate Fighter," is the primary suspect in the attack early Friday, according to court records filed Monday.

The 32-year-old is wanted on suspicion of domestic battery, strangulation, lewdness, assault and coercion. His name was Jon Koppenhaver until he legally changed it to War Machine in 2008.

Koppenhaver did not immediately respond to a voicemail seeking comment Tuesday.

His former girlfriend Christy Mack posted a statement about the alleged attack and photos of her swollen face and bruised body on her official Twitter account Monday. Mack has appeared in dozens of pornographic movies, according to her IMDB profile.

She said in the statement that Koppenhaver showed up unannounced at her house, found her and her friend unarmed, and beat her friend without uttering a word.

Mack said Koppenhaver sent away the friend and turned to her, forcing her to shower before knocking out some of her teeth and breaking bones in her face. She wrote that she feared for her life as he sawed off her hair with a dull knife.

Mack eventually escaped out a back door and knocked on neighbors’ doors naked until someone answered and she was taken to the hospital.

She said Koppenhaver had been abusive in the past and broke up with her in May.

"After many months of fear and pressure to keep this man happy," Mack wrote, "I feel that I can no longer put myself in this situation."

Bellator MMA President Scott Coker said his promotional company is dissolving its contract with the fighter in light of the accusations.

"We have a zero tolerance policy here at Bellator when it relates to any form of domestic violence," Coker said in a statement.

The welterweight fighter made his Ultimate Fighting Championship debut during the 2007 season of "The Ultimate Fighter," but he didn’t last long for the promotion.

Koppenhaver lost his only pay-per-view bout in 2008 and moved on to fight for a variety of MMA promotions over the past five years. He fought three times for Bellator last year, losing his final bout in October 2013.

Koppenhaver, who also starred in porn films, has run into a string of legal issues over the years. His record includes a 2012 conviction for attempt to commit battery with substantial bodily harm.

The fighter missed parts of two years of his career because he served time in jail.

Associated Press Researcher Rhonda Shafner in New York contributed to this report.

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