War Machine (mixed martial artist)

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War Machine
BornJonathan Paul Koppenhaver
(1981-11-30) November 30, 1981 (age 37)
Simi Valley, California, United States
Other namesJon Koppenhaver
Height5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Weight170 lb (77 kg; 12 st)
Reach72 in (180 cm)
Fighting out ofSan Diego, California
TeamTeam Undisputed
RankPurple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Mixed martial arts record
By knockout8
By submission6
By submission4
By decision1
UniversityThe Citadel
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog

War Machine (born Jonathan Paul Koppenhaver, November 30, 1981) is an American former professional mixed martial artist, pornographic actor and convicted felon.[1][2] In MMA, he competed in the Welterweight division. He was a fighter on The Ultimate Fighter: Team Hughes vs. Team Serra as part of Team Serra and also competed for Bellator MMA, Tachi Palace Fights, BAMMA, and the Xtreme Fighting Championships. In 2008, he legally changed his name to "War Machine".[3]

In March 2017, he was convicted on 29 felony counts after brutally assaulting his ex-girlfriend during a 2014 incident. He was sentenced to life in prison on June 5, 2017. [4]

Early life[edit]

Koppenhaver was born in Simi Valley, California. His German-American father was an officer for the Los Angeles Police Department, while his Mexican mother worked as a nurse and later became a work-at-home mother.[5] Due to his mother's drug addiction, Koppenhaver would often take care of his younger brother and sister.[5] When he was 13, Koppenhaver unsuccessfully performed CPR on his father.[6]

In August 2000, Koppenhaver attended The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina for two years before being expelled for "poor behavior".[7] While attending, he majored in biology.[7] In an interview, Koppenhaver claimed that he had been earning high marks at The Citadel.[5]

Mixed martial arts career[edit]

The Ultimate Fighter Season Six[edit]

Koppenhaver was a fighter on The Ultimate Fighter: Team Hughes vs. Team Serra, fighting on Team Serra. However, he was not part of the original sixteen fighters initially picked for the show.[8] Instead, Koppenhaver was brought in as a replacement when Roman Mitichyan broke his elbow during evaluations and was sent home.[9] Koppenhaver lost by unanimous decision to Tom Speer.[10]

After a dispute with TNA Wrestling over the use of his nickname, he legally changed his name from "Jon Koppenhaver" to "War Machine" in 2008.[11]

Ultimate Fighting Championship[edit]

In War Machine's official UFC debut, he defeated Jared Rollins in The Ultimate Fighter: Team Hughes vs Team Serra Finale via KO at 2:01 of the third round. War Machine and Rollins both received $25,000 due to winning fight of the night honors and War Machine winning knockout of the night. His last UFC fight was at UFC 84 against Yoshiyuki Yoshida which he lost via submission in the first round.[12]

He was released from the UFC after rejecting a fight offered by UFC matchmaker Joe Silva, and after comments made about the death of fellow UFC fighter Evan Tanner. War Machine posted on his Myspace that he believed that Tanner had gone to the isolated southern California desert to kill himself after he realized his career might have been over and had basically made no money during it. Medical examiners eventually proved that Tanner's death was not a suicide, but War Machine stood by his statements.[13]

Bellator Fighting Championships[edit]

War Machine was signed and then released by Bellator Fighting Championships. His MySpace blog cited disparaging comments about Barack Obama as the cause for his non-participation in their upcoming tournament.[14][15]

Independent Promotions (2009-2011)[edit]

On June 20, 2009, War Machine was set to fight Roger Bowling.[16] They were then set to fight at XFC 9 in Tampa, Florida on September 5, where it was to be the main event and would broadcast live over HDNet.com.[17]

On September 5, 2009, War Machine stepped into the cage and faced off against Mikey Gomez. The ref stopped the fight, giving a somewhat controversial win to War Machine by TKO (punches), at 13 seconds in the third round.[18] War Machine was scheduled to fight October 3, 2009 against Jacob McClintock, but cancelled the fight so he could fight on October 8, 2009 against David Mitchell.

On April 17, 2010, he was set to face Tex Johnson in the main event of Wild Bill's Fight Night.[19] However, on April 16, it had been reported on TMZ.com that War Machine left a comment on his Twitter saying he would not be turning up to the event for the fight.[20]

Return to Bellator Fighting Championships[edit]

On December 7, 2011, it was announced that War Machine was re-signed to an exclusive deal with Bellator Fighting Championships and would be competing in their Season 6 Welterweight Tournament.[21] War Machine was expected to fight Karl Amoussou in the opening round of the welterweight tournament at Bellator 63. However, War Machine was sentenced to a year in prison for the prior assault in Las Vegas, Nevada from December 2009 and was forced out of the bout and the tournament.[22]

He was set to make his Bellator Debut on January 17, 2013 against Paul Daley, however he tore his ACL and broke his fibula which forced him out of the fight.[23]

War Machine faced Blas Avena at Bellator 96 on June 19, 2013.[24] He won via TKO due to punches in round one.

War Machine then took part in Bellator MMA's Season Nine Welterweight Tournament at Bellator 100 against Vaughn Anderson in the Quarterfinals.[25] He won via technical submission due to a rear naked choke in the second round.

War Machine then faced Ron Keslar on October 18, 2013 at Bellator 104 in the semifinals of the Season Nine Welterweight Tournament. He lost via technical submission due to a rear naked choke in the first round.

On August 8, 2014, Bellator MMA announced the release of War Machine after he allegedly assaulted his former girlfriend, Christy Mack.[26]

Adult film career[edit]

On October 31, 2009, War Machine announced that he would pursue a career in pornographic films along with fighting mixed martial arts.[27] In his announcement, War Machine revealed that he had signed with LA Direct Models and made his début scene with pornographic actress Riley Steele.[27] Between 2009 and 2010, War Machine appeared in twelve adult films.[28] War Machine was featured in the January 2014 issue of Hustler Magazine in a nude pictorial with porn actress and then-girlfriend Christy Mack.[29]

Arrests and convictions[edit]

On September 2, 2007, he was found guilty of striking a Las Vegas man in the face and choking him unconscious during a parking lot scuffle.[30] In February 2008, he was sentenced to three years of probation and 30 days of community service, avoiding the possible felony charge and accompanying prison time.[30]

On February 22, 2008, Koppenhaver pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of assault and battery, and was fined and sentenced to probation.[31]

In August 2010, War Machine was sentenced to one year in the county jail for a felony assault conviction stemming from a fight at a Point Loma bar earlier in the year, as well as an additional fight at a Pacific Beach bar.[32][33] He was imprisoned in San Diego's George Bailey Detention Facility and served time in solitary confinement.[34]

After going to jail, War Machine maintained his Twitter account as well as a blog documenting his time in jail.[35] On February 1, 2012, it was announced via War Machine's Twitter that he would be serving another year of jail time, due to preceding events. He was released on October 29, 2012.[36]

On August 8, 2014, Christy Mack and associate Corey Thomas were assaulted by War Machine in her Las Vegas home. Mack was hospitalized, where it was found that she suffered from 18 broken bones, a broken nose, missing teeth, a fractured rib and a ruptured liver.[37] At the time, War Machine was in a relationship with Mack.[38][39][40] Mack alleged that it was War Machine who carried out the attack.[41] According to Mack, War Machine also attempted to rape her.[42] On August 15, War Machine was arrested in Simi Valley, California, by U.S. Marshals and Simi Valley police.[43] His trial, originally scheduled for September 2015, was postponed twice before beginning in February 2017.[44][45][46] On March 20, 2017, he was convicted on 29 felony counts, including kidnapping and sexual assault with a weapon, for which he faced life in prison. The jury deadlocked on two counts of attempted murder.[47] War Machine was represented by Jay Leiderman and Brandon Sua.[48] On June 5, 2017, War Machine was sentenced to an aggregate sentence of life in prison with possibility of parole after 36 years has been served.[49]

According to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, War Machine was found unresponsive in his cell on October 14, 2014 at around 9:30 p.m.[50] by a corrections officer conducting routine checks in the cells. The cell officer found War Machine struggling to breathe, with a torn piece of linen around his neck that was tied to the leg of his bunk bed. After the officer cut the linen, War Machine's vitals stabilized within 15 minutes, and he was moved to a medical ward, where he was placed on suicide watch. In a suicide note found in his cell, he quoted philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche twice to explain his actions.[51] The incident occurred on the same day he was supposed to appear in court to discuss a plea deal.[52][53]

War Machine maintained a prison blog[54] with the assistance of a friend who typed out handwritten notes provided by War Machine.[55] On his blog, War Machine reportedly claimed that "The oppression of MEN is worse than oppression of Jews in Nazi germany, worse than the slavery of Blacks in early America" [sic].[56]

Personal life[edit]

On July 20, 2018, it was revealed that War Machine had got engaged to Ashley Farrington, they first got acquainted with each other when she started writing to him in prison as his pen pal.[57]

Mixed martial arts record[edit]

Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Loss 14–5 Ron Keslar Technical Submission (rear-naked choke) Bellator 104 October 18, 2013 1 3:31 Cedar Rapids, Iowa, United States Bellator Season Nine Welterweight Tournament Semifinal.
Win 14–4 Vaughn Anderson Technical Submission (rear-naked choke) Bellator 100 September 20, 2013 2 4:01 Phoenix, Arizona, United States Bellator Season Nine Welterweight Tournament Quarterfinal.
Win 13–4 Blas Avena TKO (punches) Bellator 96 June 19, 2013 1 3:55 Thackerville, Oklahoma, United States
Win 12–4 Roger Huerta TKO (punches) UWF 1: Huerta vs. War Machine November 26, 2011 3 3:09 Pharr, Texas, United States
Loss 11–4 John Alessio Technical Submission (rear-naked choke) TPF 5: Stars and Strikes July 9, 2010 3 2:24 Lemoore, California, United States
Win 11–3 Zach Light Submission (rear-naked choke) BAMMA 3 May 15, 2010 1 1:09 Birmingham, England, United Kingdom
Loss 10–3 David Mitchell Decision (split) TPF 1: Tachi Palace Fights 1 October 8, 2009 3 5:00 Lemoore, California, United States
Win 10–2 Mikey Gomez TKO (strikes) XFC 9: Evolution September 5, 2009 3 0:13 Tampa, Florida, United States
Win 9–2 Erick Montano Submission (armbar) Total Combat 33 July 11, 2009 3 0:47 Mexico City, Mexico
Win 8–2 Tim Woods Submission (rear-naked choke) UWC 6: Capital Punishment April 25, 2009 2 4:16 Fairfax, Virginia, United States
Win 7–2 Guillaume DeLorenzi Submission (rear-naked choke) XMMA 7: Inferno February 27, 2009 1 4:13 Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Win 6–2 David Anderson KO (punches) Desert Rage 4 November 8, 2008 1 2:26 Yuma, Arizona, United States
Loss 5–2 Yoshiyuki Yoshida Technical Submission (anaconda choke) UFC 84 May 24, 2008 1 0:56 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 5–1 Jared Rollins KO (punches) The Ultimate Fighter 6 Finale December 8, 2007 3 2:01 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Knockout of the Night. Fight of the Night.
Win 4–1 RJ Gamez TKO (strikes) Total Combat 16: Annihilation September 9, 2006 1 2:09 San Diego, California, United States
Loss 3–1 Mike O'Donnell Submission (armbar) GFC: Team Gracie vs Team Hammer House March 3, 2006 2 4:02 Columbus, Ohio, United States
Win 3–0 Andrew Ramirez TKO (corner stoppage) Total Combat 9 July 30, 2005 1 N/A Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico
Win 2–0 Frank Duffy Submission (rear-naked choke) Total Combat 4 July 25, 2004 1 N/A Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico
Win 1–0 Angel Santibanez TKO (punch) Total Combat 2 February 29, 2004 1 1:00 Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico

Championships and accomplishments[edit]


  1. ^ James, Dustin (August 27, 2008). "UFC News: UFC/WEC Merger, TNA Wrestling Causes UFC Name Change, More". 411mania. Retrieved July 7, 2012.
  2. ^ "Mixed Martial Arts Show Results" (PDF). Nevada Athletic Commission. Retrieved July 7, 2012.
  3. ^ "Jon Koppenhaver legally changes name to 'War Machine'". MMAmania.com. Retrieved 2014-01-23.
  4. ^ "Judge denies War Machine's motion for new trial, sentences him to life in prison for Christy Mack attack". Retrieved 6 June 2017.
  5. ^ a b c MMA Uncensored Live: Exclusive: Extended War Machine Interview (Part 1 of 2) (Television production). Spike. March 15, 2012. Retrieved July 7, 2012.
  6. ^ Karkoski, Kris (November 8, 2007). "The Ultimate Fighter Season 6: Episode 8 Recap". MMA Frenzy. Retrieved July 7, 2012.
  7. ^ a b "Jon Koppenhaver". Ultimate Fighting Championship. Retrieved July 7, 2012.
  8. ^ Meltzer, Dave (2007-08-27). "Participants in Ultimate Fighter season six are announced". Los Angeles Times.com. Archived from the original on October 24, 2007. Retrieved August 27, 2007.
  9. ^ Doyle, Alicia (October 30, 2007). "Simi man gets real on 'Ultimate Fighter': Mixed martial artist eyes prized contract". Ventura County Star. Retrieved July 7, 2012.
  10. ^ "The Top Six Ultimate Fighter Finale Fights". Bleacher Report. Retrieved July 27, 2012.
  11. ^ "UFC News: Jon Koppenhaver Legally Changes His Name To 'War Machine'". Cage Today. Retrieved July 7, 2012.
  12. ^ "UFC 84 Results: Penn Defeats Sherk- MMA News & Views". Mma-zone.com. 2008-05-25. Retrieved 2014-01-23.
  13. ^ Gerbasi, Thomas (March 18, 2008). "Koppenhaver Returns as Two Welterweight Bouts are added to UFC 84". UFC.com. Retrieved March 18, 2008.
  14. ^ fightlinker (5 February 2009). "Thank God for consistency". Fightlinker.com. Archived from the original on February 7, 2009.
  15. ^ War Machine (Jon Koppenhaver) cut by Bellator Fighting Championships
  16. ^ Levick, Bryan (2009-03-24). "Jon "War Machine" Koppenhaver vs. Roger Bowling on June 20". Five Ounces of Pain. Retrieved 2014-01-23.
  17. ^ "mmaxfc.com". mmaxfc.com. Retrieved 2014-01-23.
  18. ^ "Get In Magazine". Get In Magazine. Retrieved 2014-01-23.
  19. ^ "War Machine vs Tex Johnson to Fight on Sat, April 17 at Wild Bill's!". Georgia Fighters. Retrieved 2014-01-23.
  20. ^ "War Machine - Punished in Georgia". TMZ.com. 2010-04-16. Retrieved 2014-01-23.
  21. ^ Stupp, Dann (7 December 2011). "Bellator inks polarizing fighter War Machine". MMA Junkie. USA Today UFC Media Group. Archived from the original on January 27, 2012.
  22. ^ "War Machine Headed Back to Prison". 5thround.com. February 2, 2012.
  23. ^ "War Machine Suffers Broken Leg, Out Of Planned Bellator Fight With Paul Daley". mmaconvert.com. 2012-12-07.
  24. ^ "War Machine makes his Bellator Debut against Blas Avena at Bellator 96". Sherdog.com. 2013-04-26.
  25. ^ "Vaughn Anderson to face War Machine at Bellator 100". Fightnation.com. 2013-09-07.
  26. ^ "War Machine released for allegedly assaulting girlfriend and two others".
  27. ^ a b "War Machine has left MMA, dude's a pornstar now". Middle Easy. Retrieved July 7, 2012.
  28. ^ "War Machine IAFD". IAFD. Retrieved September 21, 2012.
  29. ^ "Christy Mack, War Machine Do Hustler Layout".
  30. ^ a b Stupp, Dann (February 21, 2008). "Judge Shows Leniency with John Koppenhaver Sentencing". MMA Junkie. Retrieved March 18, 2008.
  31. ^ "San Diego Attorney Casey Defends Jon Koppenhaver's Fighting Career". San Diego DUI Lawyer. Retrieved 2012-04-25.
  32. ^ "Report: Former UFC Fighter War Machine Going to Jail". Fox News. Retrieved July 9, 2012.
  33. ^ "Ex-UFC Fighter War Machine Gets Jail Time For Assault". TMZ.com. Retrieved July 9, 2012.
  34. ^ Machine, War (2011-04-21). "Week #36". Wmweek36.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2014-01-23.
  35. ^ War Machine's profile at Blogger.ca
  36. ^ "War Machine free at last, again - Mixed Martial Arts News". Mixedmartialarts.com. Retrieved 2014-01-23.
  37. ^ Soraya Nadia McDonald (August 12, 2014). "Christy Mack shares photos of the beating she allegedly endured at the hands of MMA fighter War Machine". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 12, 2014.
  38. ^ Kristy Hoffman (2013-10-15). "Hanging Out With Pornstar Christy Mack Made Me Less Scared of Porn". Vice. Retrieved 2013-11-29.
  39. ^ "Bellator MMA Fighter, War Machine, Dating Porn Star Christy Mack". 22 June 2013. Retrieved 22 January 2014.
  40. ^ "Photo of the Day: War Machine & Christy Mack Validate Their Relationship With Matching Ink". Retrieved 22 January 2014.
  41. ^ "Dog the Bounty Hunter to join manhunt for 'War Machine'". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2014-08-17.
  42. ^ Christy Mack describes alleged assault at the hands of former boyfriend, MMA fighter "War Machine", aka Jon Koppenhaver, news.com.au, August 12, 2014
  43. ^ "MMA Fighter 'War Machine' Arrested in Simi Valley, Was Sought in Las Vegas Beating of Ex-Girlfriend". KTLA. 2014-08-11. Retrieved 2014-08-17.
  44. ^ Ferrara, David (2015-06-03). "War Machine to stay behind bars until trial for brutal beating". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved 2015-08-17.
  45. ^ Ex-fighter Koppenhaver gets judge to postpone trial, Las Vegas Sun, September 21, 2015
  46. ^ "Trial in Vegas for ex-fighter War Machine reset to February", Associated Press
  47. ^ Ken Ritter (March 20, 2017). "Ex-MMA fighter guilty of 29 felonies in kidnap, beating case". AP. Retrieved March 20, 2017.
  48. ^ [1]
  49. ^ "War Machine Sentenced to Life: The Fall of an MMA Star". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2017-06-06.
  50. ^ "Koppenhaver -- Attempts Suicide by Hanging in Jail". TMZ. Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  51. ^ Kaufman, Scott. "Cage-fighter Koppenhaver blames anti-male society for his domestic violence in suicide note". RawStory. Retrieved 20 October 2014.
  52. ^ Fieldstadt, Elisha. "MMA Fighter War Machine Attempts Suicide in Jail". NBC News. Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  53. ^ Karimi, Faith. "MMA fighter War Machine attempts suicide in jail, report says". CNN. Retrieved 17 October 2014.
  54. ^ War Machine blogger profile
  55. ^ "Inside the men's rights movement". The Week. 2015-06-07.
  56. ^ Week #25, Blogspot.com.au
  57. ^ "War Machine Engaged To Pen Pal... Sorry, No Conjugal Visits".

External links[edit]