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Former UFC Heavyweight Champ Ricco Rodriguez Arrested for Suspicion of DUI

HOLLYWOOD, FL - SEPTEMBER 20:  Ricco Rodriguez of the New York Pit Bulls takes a forarm to the throat by Ben Rothwell of the Quad Cities Silverbacks in their Heavyweight bout during the the International Fight League World Championship Finals on September 19, 2007 at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in  Hollywood, Florida  The International Fight League is the worlds first team based professional mixed martial arts league.  In a match, two teams compete against each other with the winning team being the one whose members win three of five one on one matches in five weight divisions.  Competition goes in a round robin format amongst 12 teams with the teams with the two best records ultimately competing for the IFL Championship.  (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images
John HeinisSenior Analyst IMarch 6, 2013

Former UFC heavyweight champion Rico Rodriguez was arrested in Los Angeles, California Sunday morning for suspicion of driving under the influence, TMZ first reported

Rodriguez, an incredible 68-fight veteran inside the cage, was arrested at 1:25 a.m. on March 3 for misdemeanor DUI, the report says.

The only other detail currently available from the incident is that the 35-year-old was released several hours later on $5,000 bail, the article states.

TMZ also spoke with a representative for Rodriguez who said they plan on fighting the charges due to two separate blood alcohol content (BAC) readings on the breathalyzer.  

"When Ricco was arrested the police officer said he blew a .1. When they had him take another breathalyzer at the station only a few minutes later he blew a .08. We are wondering how a breathalyzer dropped .02 points after a very short time." Ricco's rep says they plan to fight the charges," the unnamed rep said. 

Additionally, law enforcement officials told TMZ that Rodriguez did voluntarily take two breathalyzer tests and it is "not uncommon to get slightly varying results."

Rodriguez, a third degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, won the UFC heavyweight strap all the way back at UFC 39 in Sept. 2002 when he made Randy Couture tap to elbow strikes in the fifth round. 

Boasting a 14-1 professional record at that point, his title reign was shot lived, as he lost the belt in his next fight against Tim Sylvia at UFC 41 in in Feb. 2003. 

"Suave" is not the force he once was though, posting a disappointing 2-8 record in his past 10 fights. 

His most recent matchup was against Ante Delija in December, losing a unanimous decision. The fight was for the House of Gladiator's heavyweight title. 

Rodriguez has not fought in the UFC since UFC 45 in Nov. 2003, where he lost a unanimous decision to Pedro Rizzo. 

His last appearance in a major MMA promotion came in Aug. 2011 at Bellator 48, where he suffered a first round knockout at the hands of Seth Petruzelli

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