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Attorney: People Need to Differentiate Between War Machine and Jon Koppenhaver

John HeinisSenior Analyst IJanuary 14, 2017

Former Bellator and UFC welterweight War Machine is just a character portrayed by Jonathan Koppenhaver, at least according to an attorney he hired to represent him in the Christy Mack assault case.

In a report from ABC affiliate KTNV Channel 13, War Machine's legal counsel in the matter—Brandon Sua—argues that the War Machine persona is just an act. 

"War Machine's a character. He is an MMA fighter. He is controversial, and people need to understand where to draw that line from his character as War Machine and a person as Jon Koppenhaver." 

Sua says War Machine's alleged violent encounter with porn star ex-girlfriend Christy Mack and former reality star Corey Thomas was the result of his client acting in self defense—a notion the fighter claimed weeks ago. 

I'm not a bad guy, I went to surprise my gf, help her set up her show and to give her an engagement ring and ended up fighting for my life.

— War Machine (@WarMachine170) August 11, 2014

Steve Wolfson, the Clark County District Attorney, explained how War Machine now faces a jaw-dropping 32 charges—as opposed to the initial seven—and a possible life sentence if convicted. 

"We learned that there were additional incidents of criminal conduct, and the law allows us to file an amended complaint, adding charges, and that's what we did."

Also worth noting from the report is that War Machine told the judge that is not his legal name, therefore, the court proceedings will address him as Jon Koppenhaver. 

The Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belt, who has a 14-5 ledger inside the cage, was denied bail and therefore will be held at the Clark County Detention Center until his October 17 court hearing.

Meanwhile, Mack is out of the hospital after nursing serious injuries that include missing teeth, a lacerated liver and various facial fractures and bruises (Warning: Photos are graphic and NSFW).

She is in the process of recovery and got dental work done last Tuesday.

Just saw @DoctorAdamDMD for two root canals in fractured teeth. Such a great dentist and wonderful man.

— Christy Mack (@ChristyMack) August 27, 2014

Stay tuned to Bleacher Report for the latest updates on War Machine's Las Vegas courtroom battle.


John Heinis is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report. He is also the MMA editor for

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