Contestant on season six of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF), Jon Koppenhaver, received three years probation and has to pay $2,300 in restitution for his felony assault of Darren Zutkow outside a California gym in September 2007, according to 10News.com.
"War Machine" faced serious jail time for choking out and breaking the face of the victim. In addition, the felony charge would have voided his 10-fight contract to compete inside the Octagon.
Thanks to a good legal team and an extremely understanding victim the judge in the case reduced the crime to a misdemeanor. In fact, Zutkow did not want to jeopardize the Koppenhaver's mixed martial arts career and was "compassionate" about the situation.
It's a ruling with which Koppenhaver, of course, is pleased to hear.
From a recent MySpace.com bulletin:
"Today in my sentencing hearing I successfully got my felony reduced to a misdemeanor. I received Summary Probation instead of formal probation which was exactly what we were shooting for. No jail, none of that nonsense. Thanks to all of you that stood by me through my court case. I am glad that it is all behind me now and am ready to start preparing for my next fight in the UFC May 24th!"
Talk about dodging a bullet -- he should really thank Zutkow for not asking the judge to put the screws to him after the beating he endured.
Koppenhaver is coming off of a sensational action-packed technical knockout win over castmate Jared Rollins at the TUF 6 Finale in December 2007. His next bout will take place at UFC 84 in Las Vegas on May 24 against a yet to be announced opponent.
For the latest UFC 84 fight card click here.
Thanks to MMAmania.com reader "Mr. NC-17 for the assist. For a detailed account of the courtroom proceedings head over to MMAPredictions.com.