It has emerged today that Former UFC heavyweight champion Ricco Rodriguez was charged with assault and resisting arrest in Arizona on Sunday.
Rodriguez got into a physical confrontation with a cab driver in Pheonix after refusing to pay for a $70 cab fare. Police were then called to the scene and the 33 year-old made matters worse by resisting arrest, with three policemen being required in order to control the 6ft 2″, 235lb fighter.
“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,” Sgt Steve Martos told MyFoxPheonix.
Rodriguez briefly held the UFC heavyweight belt in 2002 after defeating Randy Couture, but he has been making his living outside of the Octagon since early 2003. Earlier this year Rodriguez had stated his hopes of returning to the UFC, but despite dropping a significant amount of weight and winning his last 11 fights in a row, the promotion have yet to show serious interest in acquiring his services.
News of Rodriguez arrest comes on the same day that another former UFC fighter Hermes Franca was also arrested on multiple counts of sexual abuse in Oregon, while last week Wesley ‘Cabbage’ Correira was charged with theft and burglary.
It’s not good for the UFC’s reputation to be associated with this kind of behaviour, and it’s possible this could put an end to his hopes of having a second run in the world’s leading MMA promotion.