Alex Nicholson has had a controversial start to his UFC career to say the least.
Just over a month after his first win under the promotion’s banner — a first-round finish of Devin Clark at UFC Fight Night 91 in July — he cornered his teammate, Mike Perry, at UFC 202. Perry would make his debut against Hyun Gyu Lim and upset the South Korea native in devastating fashion.
Prior to the fight, Nicholson was caught on the UFC’s corner audio microphones saying this to Perry, referring to Lim:
“He can’t even open his motherf—ing eyes, boy.”
Although he did not receive any discipline from the UFC, he was still in hot water, as the promotion said after the incident that if Nicholson was involved in another situation like this one, he would be punished.
“UFC has addressed the matter with Nicholson, as well as Perry, to express the organization’s disappointment with Nicholson’s insensitive remark. As such, the organization informed Nicholson that any future instances of this nature could result in a suspension from competition, or termination of his contract,” the UFC said in a statement in September.
Nicholson, however, has been adamant since cornering Perry in August that he did not mean the comments he said.
“I’m the furthest thing from a racist or hateful person,” Nicholson told MMAjunkie.com ahead of UFC Fight Night 98. “But when my brother’s in there fighting, not to sound like a jerk or whatever, he could’ve been fighting a white dude and I would’ve been like, ‘Knock that white boy out!’ It’s not even like that. I don’t mean anything like that. I’ll apologize again. It’s all love, all love from me. I love all people; shapes, sizes, colors. I’m not a jerk by any means.
“But when your family’s in there fighting, you’ll say anything at that moment. Maybe you will say some hateful, mean things, so I’m sorry for that. But I love everybody. I want to see everybody succeed. But when you’re against us, of course I want us to be victorious. And I’m proud of Mike; he’s come a long way. We started training in our backyard on tarps and mats. And now we’re in the biggest promotion in the world. It’s a beautiful thing. You can love us or hate us, we’re still going to be us, and nothing will take that away from us.”
The controversy didn’t end there, though. In May, Nicholson was arrested for a domestic violence charge, the UFC revealed in a statement in September. The UFC’s law firm, Campbell & Williams, launched an investigation on the case.
According to the arrest report, obtained by MMAFighting.com, the physical altercation occurred at a 7-Eleven location in Orlando, Fla. A witness said that Nicholson picked up his fiancée, carried her outside the store, and dropped her on the ground, per the report. The UFC fighter was pulled off his fiancée, who was taken back into the convenience store by multiple bystanders, another witness said, according to the report.
Nicholson said, though, that him and his fiancée stumbled while fleeing 7-Eleven — denying the arrest report — and that the situation was a “big misunderstanding.”
“I didn’t put my hands on her,” Nicholson said. “We were in a 7-Eleven. She was taking her ring off to show it to somebody and dropped it. And we’re in kind of a hood area in Orlando, so I said, ‘Nobody’s going to leave 7-Eleven until we find it,’ and that obviously wasn’t the smartest decision at the time. The people in 7-Eleven didn’t like it, and then she found the ring, and the lady at the 7-Eleven counter said, ‘Oh, the police are on the way.’ She was still talking to her friend, I was drunk, so I was like, ‘We have to get out of here.’ So I picked her up, and we started to go out there. As we came out of the door, we fell to the ground. I helped her up. Next thing I know, there’s a cop in my face, people carrying her away, bringing her into 7-Eleven, and I’m in handcuffs. She comes back out, and we tried to avoid the situation. But once you’re in handcuffs in Orlando, they’re taking you away.
“It’s been cleared up; we had the second-party, the UFC investigation. We’ve all been there, have too much to drink, make a stupid decision. But I would never put my hands on a female. I love her to death. I would die for that woman, not do anything to hurt her. I’d give my life before hers. It’s funny; people say all this hateful stuff, call me a hateful person, write on my Twitter, ‘I hope your family dies,’ stuff like that. Come on, who’s really hateful? You can meet me, talk to me, it’s all love. Like I said, nothing but love from me.”
The case was not pursued, because Nicholson’s fiancée did not show up to trial on Aug. 3, a Florida state official told MMAFighting.com. She refused to file domestic violence papers after the incident.
The UFC released a statement (via MMAFighting.com) earlier this week on the situation, announcing that its law firm performed a thorough investigation and was unable to find “sufficient evidence.”
“Following a third-party investigation of the matter by the law firm of Campbell & Williams, UFC was informed that no sufficient evidence exists which indicates an act of domestic violence occurred as it concerns Alex Nicholson. Both Mr. Nicholson and his fiancée were interviewed, and all reports of the matter were thoroughly reviewed. It should be noted that the investigation confirmed that the State Attorney of Florida declined to proceed with a case against Mr. Nicholson, and the case was dismissed. UFC reserves the right to reevaluate the matter should new information be made available.”
Nicholson (7-2) is set to make his third Octagon appearance at UFC Fight Night 98 in Mexico City, Mexico on Saturday night in the UFC Fight Pass featured fight against Sam Alvey. “The Spartan” is 1-1 in the UFC.