Just recently, Rodolfo Ramirez was arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting a victim in Arizona. The 28-year-old suspect is a former professional mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter. Following similar crimes committed by other MMA fighters, both former and currently fighting at the time, is there an increase of sexual assault crimes done by MMA fighters?
According to an earlier article written by the Inquisitr, local Arizona news outlet NBC 12 News reported on Ramirez facing a judge on Friday, September 23, for accusations of kidnapping and sexually assaulting an unconscious woman in Old Town Scottsdale last weekend.
Rodolfo Ramirez was caught on surveillance camera carrying an unconscious woman, possibly in her mid-20s, to a parking lot garage where police claim the alleged assault took place. Afterwards, police claim he took the victim to his home where he sexually assaulted her two more times. When he was done, Ramirez dropped the victim off at an intersection in Tempe, Arizona.
Right now, the defense is arguing that Rodolfo Ramirez is innocent until proven guilty, claiming there is no biological or physical evidence to support the allegations. As for the prosecution, they are pushing public sentiment by detailing the victim’s story just enough to cause public outcry. Until more evidence is found, Ramirez is being held, without bond, possibly until his upcoming court date this coming Thursday, September 29.
The sexual assault crime Rodolfo Ramirez is accused of may be recognized as an isolated incident, but it seems to be a growing issue in the MMA community. Over the past couple of years, other MMA fighters have been accused, some found guilty, of sexual assault.
According to a previous report by the Inquisitr, Jonathan Koppenhaver — better known as War Machine — was in trouble for allegedly assaulting and severely injuring his ex-girlfriend, adult film star Christy Mack, back in 2014. When he stood in front of the judge, he was also charged with other felonies, including sexual assault. In another instance, MMA fighter Stephen Cervantes was arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old girl back in 2015, as reported by the Albuquerque Journal. As a final example, popular MMA fighter B.J. Penn was accused of sexual assault earlier this year, as reported by the 5th Round.
The question remains if there is a clear link to MMA and sexual assault? To be fair, there really isn’t any clear studies between MMA and sexual assault respectively, but there are some similarities linking MMA to assault in general, which was referenced is an HBO investigation. According to an article by the Huffington Post, they found out that MMA fighters commit domestic abuse at rates far exceeding NFL players. Investigators checked the backgrounds of hundreds of American-born MMA fighters since 2003, throughout various weight classes, and found the adjusted rate among top-ranked MMA fighters is 750 men out of every 100,000 men in the United States committing violent acts.
Overall, there is very little empirical data to link MMA and sexual assault. The same can be said about MMA to domestic assault in general. Maybe it is because the biggest company in MMA, UFC, are quiet on the matter. On one hand, the UFC claims they hold their fighters in high regard. Dana White, president of UFC, even said fighters don’t “bounce back” from domestic violence. Yet, fighters with such allegations, or other serious convictions outside of domestic violence, have returned to action. If that does not seem believable, what about Travis Browne or Jon Jones?
[Featured Image by John Locher/AP Images]