UFC Fight Night 38 is only hours away but it’s already causing quite a stir in the headlines. The reason? Will Chope was fired from the UFC this morning after an article from Bleacher Report exposed the fighter’s sordid past.
Chope was discharged from the Air Force in 2009 due to repeated instances of domestic abuse. The final straw was assaulting his wife in that same year, and threatening her with a knife. Here are some of the details from the official Air Force Court of Appeals documents:
During the phone call, the appellant [Chope] and AW [his then wife] got into an argument concerning a joint credit card. he then asked AW to pick him up so that he could visit their daughter. AW hesitantly agreed…During the visit, the appellant resumed the argument concerning the credit card. The argument escalated and he told AW that if she did not give him the credit card, he would hurt her. When AW refused, the appellant told her that he had noting to lose and that he was going back to Florida. He then went to the kitchen, retrieved a paring knife, and threatened AW with it. He grabbed her, slammed her head onto the floor, and hit her on top of her head with both the knife handle and his hand. When AW screamed for help, the appellant took her onto the ground and used a ‘pillow or blanket’ to silence her screams. Thea appellant continued demanding that she return the credit card, and she continued refusing. At one point, he pointed the handle of the knife at her thigh. When AW tried to escape, he kicked her leg with his foot, but she never gave him the credit card.
Depressing stuff. The court rejected Chope’s appeal and is discharge was upheld.
Chope issued a statement on the domestic abuse allegations, but this was before the UFC made their final decision on the issue:
I fight today. But I just want to make a small post about what has been brought up last night. I made some mistakes in my past. The incidents happened 5 years ago and I will live with them for the rest of my life. But I just want everyone to know the articles are being sensationalized right now and me and my ex wife have spoken about this and we would like everyone to know that we are friends now and have moved on and are different people and are just trying to be good parents to our daughter. She also made a post on her personal page she is allowing me to share. I will make a formal address to this issue after the fight, but I hope this is suffice until then.
When all this came to light, the UFC’s reaction was swift. Chope’s fight against Diego Brandao at tonight’s UFC Fight Night 38 was scrapped, and Chope’s contract was terminated. Brandao will receive both show and win money. As for Chope, we likely won’t be seeing him in the UFC again. He was 19-6 in MMA but 0-1 in the UFC, losing to Max Holloway at UFC Fight Night 34.
After the fight was canceled, Chope issued yet another statement:
My fight has been canceled for a 5 yaer old mistake I made. I am truly sorry to all the fans and will do everything I can to make this right. I have spoken with my ex-wife on the phone and she supports what I am doing and together we will make a formal press release as soon as I get back to the USA on Wednesday.
More updates as we get them.