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UFC investigating Alex Nicholson after May domestic violence arrest

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Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

UFC fighter Alex Nicholson was arrested on a domestic violence charge after an alleged physical altercation with his fiancée at a 7-Eleven franchise in May, according to the arrest report obtained by MMA Fighting.

The charge, levied against Nicholson on May 8 in Florida, did not end up being pursued, because his fiancée did not show up at trial last month, per Florida state officials. The UFC is currently reviewing the case, the promotion said in a statement.

According to the Orlando (Fla.) Police Department arrest report, a witness said Nicholson picked up his fiancée, carried her outside the store and dropped her on the ground. The report also stated that a witness informed police that several bystanders pulled Nicholson off the woman and took her back into the 7-Eleven, locking the door behind them. Another witness said that Nicholson forced his fiancée outside the store with his body, against her will, and forced her to the ground.

The alleged victim, whose name was redacted in the police report, did not want to answer questions from officers and initially said she did not know who Nicholson was, per the report. When cops told her Nicholson already informed them the two were in a relationship, she admitted they had been together for three years.

Officers observed a contusion on the woman's head near her temple, though she would not say how she sustained it, according to the report. The report stated that the alleged victim, who was crying, told police that she would not go home with Nicholson because "she was afraid to be around him." The woman left with a friend and refused to fill out domestic violence paperwork.

Nicholson would not answer police questions about the incident, but said multiple times that he would not touch his fiancée, the report stated.

The Florida State Attorney's Office (Ninth Circuit) did not end up pursuing the charge when Nicholson's fiancée failed to appear at trial Aug. 3, according to State Attorney's Office public information officer Angela Starke. The official filing of Nolle prosequi, ending the case, came Aug. 26.

"The trial was set for Aug. 2," Starke told MMA Fighting in an e-mail. "The victim told us she couldn't make that date, so we asked the judge to move it to the following day. She was aware the trial date was moved by one day to accommodate her as her testimony was crucial to the case. At trial, she did not appear."

Nicholson declined comment on the situation through his manager Abraham Kawa.

The UFC released a statement on the matter to MMA Fighting, saying the incident would be investigated by a third-party law firm.

"UFC reviewed the matter in question and noted that the State Attorney of Florida declined to proceed with a case against Alex Nicholson, and the case was dismissed," the UFC statement read. "UFC takes allegations of domestic violence very seriously and will refer all information to a third-party law firm for additional review. UFC is committed to thoroughly exploring all allegations and taking appropriate actions following the completion of a third-party investigation."

The 911 call from inside the 7-Eleven was obtained through a public records request by MMA Fighting. On the call, the store clerk, on the phone with the 911 operator, repeatedly told Nicholson he doesn't have to put his hands on his fiancée. Nicholson can be heard in the background saying he didn't put his hands "on anybody." Yelling and screaming followed.

"One of the customers just committed domestic violence," the clerk said to the operator. "One of the customers just committed domestic violence inside the store."

This isn't the first time Nicholson, 26, has drawn headlines recently. He was reprimanded by the UFC last month for making racially insensitive comments about an Asian fighter, Hyun Gyu Lim, while serving as a cornerman for his teammate Mike Perry's fight against Lim at UFC 202 on Aug. 20. The comment told to Perry — "He can't even open his motherf---ing eyes, boy!" — was captured by the UFC production team on corner audio and leaked on social media.

"UFC has addressed the matter with Nicholson, as well as Perry, to express the organization's disappointment with Nicholson's insensitive remark," the UFC wrote in a statement Sept. 1. "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."

Nicholson addressed the comments on Twitter, saying he was "hype for my brother" and it's "all love no hate."

Nicholson (7-2) is coming off a first-round knockout win over Devin Clark in July. The middleweight fighter is scheduled to face Sam Alvey at UFC Fight Night 97 on Oct. 15 in the Philippines.