We knew it was ugly but we didn't know how much.
Well, it's really ugly.
When Jeremy Stephens was arrested on assault charges just before UFC on FX 5 this past Oct. 5 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, UFC President Dana White was adamant he felt it was "personal." His thought was police waited to make the arrest until the day of the event and then toyed with him when the Octagon boss came in to get Stephens out.
Now, in a story running at DesMoinesRegister.com, police are denying as much, as well as shedding light on what led to Stephens arrest in the first place:
According to police reports, the victim and his wife were at Fat Tony's, 1500 SE 1st St., with Stephens and Dustin James Bachman, 27.
The victim had reportedly been asked to leave the bar and was still in the parking lot when Stephens and Bachman emerged soon after.
According to the victim's wife, Stephens punched the victim in the left eye. The victim leaned against the building and Bachman punched him on the head and face several times, police said.
The victim's wife helped him get into their car and was trying to lock the doors when Bachman reportedly pulled the victim out of the vehicle by his feet. Stephens and Bachman then allegedly punched and kicked the victim on his head and body for about a minute, authorities said.
The suspects fled. The victim was unconscious and stopped breathing twice, police reports show. He was intubated and taken to the hospital in critical condition.
As for why authorities waited as long as they did to make the arrest, the report goes on to state they could only do so if Stephens were in a surrounding state. Because he was living in San Diego, California, obviously that wasn't possible.
But once he was in Minnesota ...
That's enough to raise serious questions regarding the nature of White's behavior before and after the UFC on FX 5 event. It's entirely possible he didn't know the full details revealed above but he did know Stephens was wanted for an assault charge and police were eager to get him into custody and keep him there.
Now we know why.
Then again, White did say Stephens would be facing in the firing squad back in Iowa, so it's fair to assume he knew quite a bit more about the situation than he may have been letting on.
Either way, this is a really bad look for a promotion trying to get a guy out of jail so he could fight at a televised event after he was just arrested for nearly beating a man to death. You want to back your guy as a boss, that's fine, but in a situation like this with these circumstances?