Words cannot express how much we dislike the group of two-faced, propaganda pushing arseholes that are The Culinary Union (although we sure do try), but we have to admit that they’ve raised an interesting debate whilst digging up dirt on some of the fighters participating at UFC on FOX 5. First, they rallied to get Jeremy Stephens removed from the card as a result of his past transgressions, and now they’ve uncovered some information about undercard fighter and debuting UFC lightweight Abel “Killa” Trujillo that is simply too glaring to overlook:
Abel Nazario Trujillo, another cage fighter scheduled to compete on the UFC fight card on Dec. 8th in Seattle, has twice pleaded guilty to Domestic Abuse Assault Causing Bodily Injury, an aggravated misdemeanor. In both cases, the victim was identified as the mother of his child. In May 2007, Trujillo also pleaded guilty to Obstruction of an Emergency Communication.
In the plea agreement, Trujillo acknowledged that the crime required the State to prove that his alleged assault victim was making a 911 call, Trujillo knew that she was making a 911 call, and Trujillo hung up the phone. Trujillo competes under the nickname “Killa.”
Jesus. That is some cold-blooded shit right there.
Now, we feel that there is one major discrepancy between the cases of Trujillo and Stephens that needs to be addressed. For starters, Stephens has yet to be convicted of anything. His trial date is set for January 9th, and despite the evidence against him, Stephens should not receive a mandatory/preemptive punished in a country whose legal system declares that we are all innocent until proven guilty.
Trujillo’s case, on the other hand, is not exactly so cut and dry. As the report said, he has twice pled guilty to the domestic assault of the same woman — the mother of his children, no less — and to the aforementioned charge of Obstruction of an Emergency Communication. Although these charges aren’t exactly on the level of our favorite Nazi pedophile MMA fighter Brandon Saling, they are nearly on the level of Brett Rogers, who was fired from Strikeforce just hours after being arrested for multiple felonious assault charges. So the discrepancy (at least in the UFC’s mind) seems to lie in the fact that Trujillo has never been convicted of a felony, but rather of several misdemeanors. It’s a thin line to traipse, for sure. Just ask Rampage Jackson.
Of course, the UFC isn’t exactly leading the charge in employing former criminals. Both Rogers and War Machine have signed to Bellator since being released from their stays in the pen, and Bellator is somewhat despicably using Machine’s past as a hype tool for his return. And let’s not even get into the whole Dan McGuane debacle they underwent recently.
But speaking of an interesting past, Trujillo’s opponent, 18-3 Tim “Dirty Bird” Means, has probably the most insane story of them all. I’ve posted most of his revealing interview with MMASucka (really?) below, but to sum it up in a few words: Gunshot, painkiller addiction, battery, prison stint.
On getting shot and nearly dying: “We wound up at a local business late at night. I was out with my buddies, not old enough to get in the bar, but we had ways to get in. I wind up at a local fast food place and had some words with this guy about supposedly cutting in line. I’m not sure if we did or didn’t, to be honest I was intoxicated, but I know we shook hands and called it cool but I noticed the guy in the corner on the phone. Usually I would of left the situation but I felt like superman that night. Later that night we walked outside, I guess the guy called his cousin and the dude shot 15 rounds at us. I’m lucky to only get hit one time in the leg, and now we can laugh and talk about it, but it was a serious incident. No hard feelings to the individual who shot me, there’s no telling the story he cousin told him maybe he said we jumped him, but the guy who called him, that’s a coward’s act, you can’t forgive him. But that’s the past and onto the future.”
On the painkiller addiction that led to his prison stint: “I had a prescription for Vicodin and morphine. I felt like I was on top of the world. That shit is awesome, but before you know it you’re abusing it and it’s not helping you get back on track. You want to stay fuzzy and tingly and it’s not helping you out. But you’re on a prescription and the doctors said if I had some pain, they signed it off without really thinking about a whole lot. It’s not their fault, it’s mine, but once they stopped signing off I starting doing cocaine and meth to get my fix. I didn’t know anything about meth at the time but it made me feel real good like I was on top of the world. But two, three years into that stuff I start look backing at my life and I have nothing to show for it. Wearing dirty clothes, living in a house I’m about to be evicted out of, I didn’t recognize myself in the mirror. It was starting to become someone I didn’t want to be anymore. I was wanting to get off meths and around that time I was facing new charges for an aggravated battery charge for punching a man who broke into my house. From then on I got on probation, they were giving me drug tests, and I was trying to hide the drug tests which meant not showing up to take them or not answering my probation officers phone calls to take them and the judge put me in jail. I realized freedom wasn’t what I needed at the time, I needed to buckle down and look at my addictions that’s what I did. I went to prison, and focused on correcting myself, got out in 2009, and have been running ever since.”
I would highly recommend you check out the entire interview over at MMASucka, as it is equal parts compelling and bewildering.
So now we come to the crux of the debate: Do any of you feel as if the UFC should more clearly define the degree of past convictions that could prevent fighters from competing in their organization, or is the current “No felony, no problem” rule seem fit enough?
It’s easy to judge someone for their troubles in the past. Hell, I’ve been arrested before and I’m sure there’s a fair number of you readers who have had their run-ins with the law as well (feel free to describe said run-ins in excruciating detail in the comments section if you’re up to it). It’s not as easy, however, to believe that a person has truly evolved beyond that which previously defined them in the public eye, hence why we are having this debate. Have Means and Trujillo earned the right to be forgiven? Or should an organization that showcases violence on as grand a scale as the UFC tread a little more lightly when dealing with the kind of fighters that could soil the name they’ve worked so hard to build and protect?