Bellator has signed War Machine (formerly known as Jon Koppenhaver before a legal name change). Again.
The 29-year-old fighter first joined Bellator in 2009 but was released soon afterward due to disparaging political comments he posted.
Now, fresh off a victory over fellow UFC vet Roger Huerta in a regional show, he's rejoined the organization, Bellator officials today confirmed with MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com
A debut date and opponent have not been released for the former cast member of "The Ultimate Fighter 6."
"Jon's not had an easy road," stated Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney while pointing to the fighter's family troubles and death of his fighter. "And there's no doubt he's made some poor choices, but after having had conversations with him since his release, he really seems to understand where and why things went wrong and wants to make them right. ... I hope he's able to turn this second chance into something positive."
War Machine's recent exploits have included a short-lived pornography career, oft-criticized use of social media, multiple arrests and a recently concluded one-year county-jail sentence due to felony assault. He was released in July.
War Machine (12-4 MMA, 0-0 BFC), who went 1-1 with the UFC, was released in 2008 after making controversial comments about ex-UFC champ Evan Tanner's death and his decision to turn down a fight with then-little-known Brandon Wolff.
Since then, he's posted a 7-2 record, which included a Nov. 26 third-round TKO of Huerta in Texas. It was his first fight in nearly 17 months due to his incarceration.
"My past has kind of shaped and molded who I've become, but the mistakes I've made in the past have definitely made me realize that I have to avoid certain situations in order to be the type of person I want to be," War Machine stated. "I pressed rewind, and now I have a chance to get my life back on track. It feels great.
"Not everyone gets this kind of opportunity. I'm just stoked to be back in the mix here with Bellator. I didn't get released from Bellator because I sucked. I got released because I was making poor decisions in my life. Right now I'm just out to show the world that I do belong here fighting the best with Bellator."