Ricco Rodriguez: Former UFC Champ Arrested in Arizona

Roland RisoContributor IMay 21, 2011

Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Heavyweight Champion, Ricco Rodriguez, was recently apprehended for allegedly resisting arrest and assaulting a cab driver in an affluent Phoenix suburb.

Rodriguez and his female companion hired taxicab service to drive them to a popular sports bar in the area.  When the cab fare calculated to $75, the 33-year-old mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter was only willing to pay $20, as explained by Myfoxphoenix.com.

According to the Phoenix police, it wasn’t until Ricco’s companion was willing to pay the remainder, an argument ensued between the driver and the heavyweight fighter, in which the cab driver promptly called 911.  The former champ then proceeded to grab the man and throw him to the ground.

At 6’4” and over 220 pounds, it took three of Phoenix’s finest to subdue the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) black belt, injuring one of them.

"It's our policy to handcuff behind, that did not occur.  He was struggling with the officers, flailing his arms... one of the officers was pushed against the wall, and we believe at that point he sustained a minor injury or cut to his elbow," says Sgt. Steve Martos.

The San Jose-born fighter is now facing charges of assault and resisting arrest.

Ricco has seen his share of problems in the past, as he once tested positive for marijuana and cocaine and was suspended by the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC). Plus, he appeared on season one of the VH1 reality television show, Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew.

Rodriguez’ last MMA bout was a unanimous decision win over The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) contestant, James McSweeney, on February 26, 2011.  He is also currently on an 11-fight win streak.



Roland Riso is a contributing writer for Bleacher Report.  All quotes were obtained from Myfoxphoenix.com.