UFC welterweight Matt Brown has been accused of assaulting his now former coach.
According to Brown's former Brazilian jiu-jitsu coach Rodrigo Botti, he and the fighter were allegedly involved in an argument that turned violent. In police reports released to MMA Fighting, Botti was named the victim of a Feb. 3 simple assault that took place at the Ohio Combat Club in Columbus, Ohio, which Brown and Botti co-own together.
Brown was not named in the police report. A spokesperson for the Hilliard Division of Police told MMA Fighting an active investigation is currently underway.
Brown is slated to face former welterweight champion Johny Hendricks on March 14 at UFC 185 in Dallas, Texas.
On Feb. 11, Botti posted a lengthy Facebook status giving his account of the incident, alleging that an unnamed "UFC fighter" assaulted him "with multiple punches in the head" while he was seated in a chair behind a desk. The strikes allegedly opened "16 internal stitches" in his left eye, requiring him to undergo surgery Feb. 10.
Botti alleges Brown and the only other witness, Brown's longtime Muay Thai coach, told police that Brown was acting out of self defense and that Botti threw the first punch.
"The truth is we were having an argument and he started to yell," Botti posted to Facebook. "[He said], 'If you keep talking I can't fucking talk' and repeated that a few times before he went crazy and flipped the glass table of the desk to the floor and came after me with multiple punches on my head while I was seating [sic] in the chair.
"I stood up leaning my back against the wall and all I did was cover my eye with one arm and yell, 'my eye you son of b*tch don't touch my eye,' while he was throwing punches in my head."
According to Botti, the muay Thai coach made an effort to break up the incident, but that Brown continued.
"His muay Thai coach and only witness didn't stop him, he slowly walked behind him and said, 'ok, enough,' so he basically stopped because he wanted to. Then the muay Thai coach was in between me and him and I said, 'you are a piece of shit coward because you know I can't fight back,' and I said, 'If I could we would fight til someone die here, I don't punch not because I don't have balls but because I can go blind forever,' and as soon as I said that he pushed his friend out of his way and came after me again with another set of multiple punches in the head while I was just covering again."
Botti said he then called police, but was soon contacted by Brown's lawyer.
"Later that day the brother of the fighter that assaulted called me because he is a lawyer and he asked me, 'What do you want to make things go smoothly?' I said, 'I want to know what you would want if you go blind for the rest of your life, I want what is right and hopefully the judge is gonna say it.'
"Later that day I got informed that the person that assaulted me and his muay Thai coach told police that I shoved him first and he only threw one punch, it was probably a super punch then because made a few bumps in my head, 1 big one and also hurt my eye."
Brown allegedly released his own statement via his Facebook page, admitting the incident became violent, but saying he only pushed Botti once. The apparent Facebook status was re-posted to multiple online forums, including Reddit and The Underground. Only Facebook friends of Brown were able to see the status.
Speaking with MMA Fighting, Botti says Brown will "have to deal with court."
"There is no 'my side of the story' there is just what happened, and what happened I posted here on my page already because I am worried about my students to know only," Botti said.
"I am not worried about his followers to know or anything related to him. He will have to deal with court when the time comes. I am just worried [about running] my gym and [keeping] my students happy, they are already happier that he left and they are disgusted by his recent attitudes after he assaulted me."
Brown declined to comment to MMA Fighting regarding the incident.