UFC Champions are considered to be at the pinnacle of the sport in terms of their skills. They represent what is best about the sport – else, in an organization like the UFC where the best has to fight the best, it’s just impossible for a fighter to become Champion.
However, as excellent inside the Octagon as they may be, sometimes fighters leave a little to be desired outside the cage. For those who construct a profession of harnessing and channelising their aggression, sometimes it does tend to spill out of control on the outside.
And then, they’re in trouble with the law. In the eyes of the law, all are equal. And UFC Champions or otherwise, some of the things that these fighters have done have seen them land in jail for it.
On that note, here are 5 UFC Champions that have been to jail.
We start with the most obvious one and the biggest star in UFC history. The former UFC Featherweight and Lightweight Champion Conor McGregor was chucked in jail overnight after his UFC 223 rampage. He hurled a dolly at a bus, shattered its windows and in the process, injured fighters like Michael Chiesa and Ray Borg.
He then appeared in a courthouse in New York the next day, in handcuffs.
Former UFC Heavyweight Champion Kevin Randleman once mentioned in an interview that he got chucked into jail for 35 days…just for telling off a judge. He had been embroiled in a court case regarding marital dispute (he termed it ‘baby mama drama’) and his son, for whom Randleman felt she wasn’t a good mother.
When the judge appeared as though he was siding with the mother, Randleman gave him a piece of his mind – and ate a jail stint for his trouble.
Oh the things we do for love.
The first of three former UFC Light Heavyweight Champions on this list, the Huntington Beach Bad Boy Tito Ortiz was arrested on domestic violence charges after he roughed up his former partner and adult performer Jenna Jameson in 2010.
Neighbours reported disturbances to the police on April 26 morning and upon arriving, authorities saw that Jameson was ‘visibly injured’. Tito Ortiz was immediately arrested. Only after his arrest did it come to light that he had also been picked up by the police in 1988, for assault causing serious bodily harm, and spent 29 days in jail.
Arguably the greatest fighter ever in UFC history, Jon Jones’ tryst with greatness has been matched every step of the way by his penchant for falling afoul of the law.
Jones was arrested after a hit and run incident saw him crash his car into that a pregnant woman was driving when he was high on marijuana, and flee the scene. The whole scene was caught on traffic cameras and Jones subsequently surrendered to the police after a judge issued a warrant or his arrest on felony hit and run charges.
As they say, the only man who can defeat Jon Jones has always been Jon Jones.
Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson
I don’t know what it is between the light heavyweight division and toeing the line of the law, but former divisional kingpin Quinton Rampage Jackson makes the final entry on our list as a UFC Champion who got arrested.
Not unlike Jon Jones, Rampage also was arrested on hit and run charges, but also managed to add two further felony counts of evading while driving recklessly and evading a peace officer to his rap sheet. It took Dana White flew out on his private jet to California to post bail for Jackson.
In fact, in an eerily similar vein to Jon Jones, he was even accused of hitting a pregnant woman’s car causing her to lose her baby – but was later proved innocent as her miscarriage didn’t have anything to do with the accident.