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Reza Madadi re-signs with UFC following 14-month prison stint

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Reza Madadi is once again a UFC fighter. The Iranian-Swedish lightweight, who recently served 14 months in a Swedish prison on aggravated burglary charges, announced through various social media outlets Wednesday that he has re-signed with the promotion that released him two years ago. Madadi's management, Mano Management, confirmed the news.

Madadi (13-3) last fought in April 2013, upsetting Michael Johnson with a third-round d'arce choke at UFC on Fuel TV 9 to extend his UFC record to 2-1.

The good vibrations from his win were cut short one month later though, when Madadi was arrested for his role in the theft of a luxury handbag store in Stockholm, Sweden. Surveillance cameras on May 24 caught three masked men parking their black Audi outside of a Bottega Veneta, smashing the front door with a sledgehammer, then looting the store before peeling off to a garage in nearby Akersberga, where the trio were found by police.

UFC officials released Madadi from his contract following the incident.

Madadi was ultimately the only individual among the three masked men to be incarcerated. He ended up serving 14 months of an 18-month prison sentence before being released this past March. Following his release, the 36-year-old maintained his innocence on an appearance on The MMA Hour, describing the experience as "two years of hell."

"Brother, I'm telling you that life is very funny," Madadi said. "It can change in one second, in one minute. I mean, we drove in a limousine one day, me and Alexander Gustafsson, went to some club to hit a little bit of pads, get paid for that. All of the sponsors, I was a famous guy here in Sweden.

"The day after, I was in some jail. They drove me in a police car and my life changed. They cut my UFC contract. I lost my job, I couldn't see my wife when she was pregnant. I lost money. Everything. I lost everything over one night. Everything I've been working for 34, 35 years."

A timeline for Madadi's return has not been immediately established.

Madadi is a member of Stockholm's AllStar Gym alongside light heavyweight title challenger Alexander Gustafsson. In addition to a victory over Johnson, Madadi owns wins over UFC veterans Rich Clementi, Carlo Prater, and Junie Browning, as well as a submission over Yoislandy Izquierdo in his 2012 UFC debut.

"I remember two years ago, everybody said, ‘this guy is never going to come back, he's too old, he's this, he doesn't deserve any chance any more,'" Madadi said Wednesday on Facebook. "But I just want to tell you, all the haters, I'm back. I'm back again in the UFC, stronger than ever. And all the people who support me, I love you so much. And I swear I'm going to show you the ‘Mad Dog' way."

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