(“I’ve turned over a new leaf, Fujiko. So no funny stuff this time. Just a normal Swedish massage and asshole wax, please.”)
War Machine‘s career comeback is picking up steam. After his third-round TKO victory against Roger Huerta last month — War’s first match after spending a year in prison for assault — the previously-troubled welterweight has announced his signing with Bellator: “So it’s now official public knowledge. I signed with Bellator and will be in the next welterweight tournament. [I] can’t wait to be back fighting on live television with the big boys.”
Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney confirmed the signing, though not War Machine‘s participation in the next welterweight bracket; his debut date and opponent is yet to be announced. As Rebney told MMAJunkie, “Jon’s not had an easy road. And there’s no doubt he’s made some poor choices, but after having had conversations with him since his release, he really seems to understand where and why things went wrong and wants to make them right…I hope he’s able to turn this second chance into something positive.”
Of course, this isn’t War Machine’s first contract with Bellator. Back in January 2009, War — then known by his given name Jon Koppenhaver — signed with the upstart Bellator promotion following his release from the UFC, which stemmed from comments he made about Evan Tanner‘s death and his refusal to take a fight against Brandon Wolff. But his mouth quickly got him in trouble again, as he was fired by Bellator a month later for implying that somebody should assassinate the president.
War Machine’s bad judgment later got him fired from the porn industry, which I had no idea was even possible, and led to a year-long lockup for one nightclub beating too many. And now he’s getting a second chance with Bellator, which has put War in a reflective mood:
“My past has kind of shaped and molded who I’ve become, but the mistakes I’ve made in the past have definitely made me realize that I have to avoid certain situations in order to be the type of person I want to be. I pressed rewind, and now I have a chance to get my life back on track. It feels great. Not everyone gets this kind of opportunity. I’m just stoked to be back in the mix here with Bellator. I didn’t get released from Bellator because I sucked. I got released because I was making poor decisions in my life. Right now I’m just out to show the world that I do belong here fighting the best with Bellator.”
Is War really done fucking up his own life? And how far can he take his career if he stays focused?