UFC Bantamweight Irwin Rivera Arrested, Charged With 2 Counts of Attempted Murder

By Jay Pettry Jan 8, 2021

Editor's note: The article has been updated at 1:30 p.m. ET on Jan. 8 to reflect additional information regarding Rivera's charges. The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office listed Rivera's charges as first-degree murder, and not attempted murder.

Ultimate Fighting Championship bantamweight Irwin Rivera has been booked and charged with two counts of attempted murder in Florida.

The news first broke from MyMMANews on Thursday, with the outlet reporting Rivera was brought in after allegedly stabbing his sisters. Per the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, Rivera was booked on Thursday morning and has been charged with two counts of Homicide – Murder, First Degree Premeditated. He is being held without bond for these charges of attempted murder. According to the 2020 Florida Statutes, “the unlawful killing of a human being…when perpetrated from a premeditated design to effect the death of the person killed or any human being” is punishable by either death or life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.

MyMMANews subsequently obtained a copy of the police report. The report details the alleged stabbings, while the arresting officer found Rivera covered in blood admitting that he committed this crime. One sister has been hospitalized with two collapsed lungs among other injuries, while the other suffered multiple stab wounds to her back, face, arms and hands. According to the report, Rivera "believed that he killed both of his sisters and said that he did so because it was his purpose, which he was told to by a higher power.

In a statement from the UFC made to MMA Fighting on Thursday, the promotion noted it had been informed of this news, writing, “UFC is aware of the recent incident involving Irwin Rivera and subsequently received information from his management that he has been exhibiting behavior consistent with mental health issues. The allegations are extremely troubling and the organization is currently gathering additional information. The investigation is ongoing and any potential next steps including disciplinary action or medical attention will be determined upon the conclusion. Furthermore, UFC has informed Rivera’s management that he will not be offered a bout at this time.”

Rivera competed in the UFC three times throughout 2020, winning a split decision over Ali AlQaisi but dropping judges’ verdicts to Giga Chikadze and Andre Ewell. “The Beast” made his way to the UFC by scoring three knockouts in a row with Titan Fighting Championships, earning him a short-notice opportunity in May. Rivera worked his way up to that place by taking fights with Legacy Fighting Championship and Combate Americas, although he lost more times than he won with those two organizations.
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