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UFC bantamweight Irwin Rivera released from custody following attempted murder charges

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UFC Fight Night: Ewell v Rivera Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC

Irwin Rivera has been freed from police custody after being granted a conditional release by a Florida judge stemming from the UFC bantamweight’s January arrest.

Rivera was released Tuesday afternoon in Florida following a Monday court ruling that saw a judge approve the fighter’s plea of not guilty by reason of insanity. MMA Fighting confirmed the release with the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office following an initial report by ESPN Deportes.

Rivera had been held behind bars since January on two counts of attempted murder after experiencing what the fighter’s sibling termed as a “complete break” earlier this year in the aftermath of an incident that saw Rivera accused of repeatedly stabbing his two sisters.

Rivera was arrested on the afternoon of Jan. 7 in Palm Beach County, Fla. The fighter’s two sisters — Lezlye and Kelly — told police that Rivera allegedly attacked them with a brass-knuckle knife and repeatedly stabbed them while they were asleep. According to police, following a four-hour manhunt, Rivera was located and told authorities that he believed he had killed his two sisters and had done so because “it was his purpose” and he was “told to by a higher power.” Rivera’s sisters were each found with multiple stab wounds on their bodies and police stated that Rivera’s younger sister also suffered two collapsed lungs.

Both siblings ultimately survived their injuries and defended Rivera in the initial stages after the incident, claiming that the alleged attack was out of character for the Mexican-born bantamweight, and both even testified on Rivera’s behalf during the case.

According to the ESPN report, Rivera has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and suffered an “acute episode of psychosis” on the day of the alleged attack. Doctors involved in the case testified that Rivera’s condition has been stabilized, and Rivera will reportedly be allowed to remain out of custody as long as he meets certain conditions regarding medication, therapy, living arrangements with his family, and supervised travel.

A doctor involved in the case also reportedly stated that Rivera could be allowed to resume his MMA career if all conditions of his release continue to be met.

The 32-year-old bantamweight last competed in September 2020 in a split decision loss to Andre Ewell at UFC Vegas 11. He was scheduled to return against Ray Rodriguez on March 13 at UFC Vegas 21 prior to his arrest. A former Titan FC bantamweight champion, Rivera holds a 1-2 record in the UFC with a notable loss to ranked featherweight Giga Chikadze.