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Midnight Mania! UFC fighter Irwin Rivera granted conditional release due to insanity plea

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UFC Fight Night: Ewell v Rivera Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

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Following a January arrest and a pair of felony charges of attempted first degree murder with a deadly weapon, UFC Bantamweight Irwin Rivera was released from custody earlier today following a decision from a Palm Beach County Judge. ESPN Deportes provided the first report and court details, while MMAFighting confirmed Rivera’s release with the Palm Beach Sheriff’s office.

Rivera pled not guilty, citing insanity. He was granted a conditional release provided Rivera continues his bipolar medication, therapy, and remains under permanent supervision by his friends and family. When initially arrested, Rivera explained to police that he had been instructed by a “higher power” and been given the purpose of killing his sisters, the stabbing victims.

Court documents revealed a large amount of support for Rivera’s rehabilitation. His two sisters, the stabbing victims, came out in support of Rivera almost immediately, and they spoke on his behalf in court. Rivera’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz, also provided a written statement, while team mates Gilbert Burns and Sean Soriano offered to supervise the newly released Rivera. Doctors testified that Rivera’s actions were the results of an “acute episode of psychosis,” and testified that his condition has since stabilized.

All three of Irwin’s UFC bouts took place in 2020. He lost a short-notice debut opposite Giga Chikadze before splitting a pair of decisions to Andre Ewell and Ali AlQaisi. After his arrest, UFC released a statement promising to monitor the situation closely before offering Rivera any future fights, but at this time of writing, he is still technically a member of the UFC Bantamweight roster.

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