Mixed martial artist Brett Rogers arrested for domestic assault

By Derek CiapalaTuesday, Jul 12, 2011

The charges levied against Rogers include third degree assault, domestic assault by strangulation and pattern of stalking. All of the charges against Rogers are listed as felonies.

UFC president Dana White confirmed on Thursday that Rogers has been released from Strikeforce, and even though the former heavyweight contender is innocent until proven guilty in court, I completely agree with the decision.

Zuffa, the company that owns both the UFC and Strikeforce, was right to fire Rogers based on the police’s response to the incident and Rogers’s own words. Rogers told police that he returned force against his wife after she punched him.

Violence against women must never be allowed or tolerated. Hitting a woman is beyond repulsive, and Rogers deserves every day in jail he gets sentenced with. His daughters will have the horrid memories of June 29, 2011, etched in their minds for the rest of their lives, and there is nothing he can do to change that.

Rogers didn’t just assault his wife. He brutalized her by choking her unconscious and punching her so hard he knocked a tooth out of his wife’s mouth. She also suffered a golf-ball sized wound on her face. This is more than a case of a man defending himself, but of a man that assaulted a woman that he vowed to love and honor when he married her.

Outside of the Rogers family, this incident is also a black mark on mixed martial arts. Many mixed artists are already stereotyped as violent thugs that are only in the octagon to satisfy their bloodlust. The sport itself is seen by some critics as barbaric and disgusting. These incorrect assumptions are what Assemblyman Bob Reilly has used to keep MMA illegal in the state of New York.

Reilly’s belief that the sport is violent, and that it will only create more violence is justified in the eyes of the sport’s detractors when people like Rogers commit the heinous crimes that he is accused of .

Rogers’s actions give people like Reilly ammunition to continue their crusade against a sport they know little about. Rogers will now likely become Reilly’s poster boy in his case against MMA, and this time, due to the sensitivity of Rogers’s crimes, people will be more likely to listen.

This is why Zuffa was correct to fire Rogers. What he did is not only a heinous act against his wife and mother of his children, but also against a sport fighting for legitimacy. Rogers’s disgusting actions have no place in MMA or in society. I hope that his wife and children heal and get the necessary support needed to move on from this traumatic experience. As for Rogers, even if he manages to wiggle his way out of prison time, I hope he’s never allowed to compete in MMA again.

Derek Ciapala has been following MMA since the days when Ken Shamrock and Royce Gracie fought in the octagon. His favorite MMA memory is when he attended UFC 68 and watched Randy Couture come out of retirement to beat Tim Sylvia for the UFC heavyweight championship.

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