UFC bantamweight Irwin Rivera was arrested and jailed on Thursday on two counts of attempted murder.
Online arrest records for the Palm Beach County (Fla.) Sheriff’s Office show Rivera was booked into custody at 12:08 p.m. on Thursday at the Main Detention Center in West Palm Beach. No bond has been set for the 31-year-old fighter. Multiple requests for comment to the office’s public information officer went unreturned, and a dispatch officer said he couldn’t provide any information on the case.
Rivera’s manager Ali Abdelaziz did not immediately respond to a request for comment. A UFC official provided a statement to MMA Fighting confirming Rivera’s career is on pause pending an investigation by the promotion.
“UFC is aware of the recent incident involving Irwin Rivera and subsequently received information from his management that he has been exhibiting behavior consistent with mental health issues,” the statement read. “The allegations are extremely troubling and the organization is currently gathering additional information. The investigation is ongoing and any potential next steps including disciplinary action or medical attention will be determined upon the conclusion. Furthermore, UFC has informed Rivera’s management that he will not be offered a bout at this time.”
According to MMA reporter Eric Kowal, who first reported Rivera’s detainment, the fighter was taken into custody on suspicion of stabbing his sisters. Other details on the accusations against the UFC veteran were scarce.
In Florida, first-degree premeditated murder charges carry a potential death sentence or life in prison.
Online records indicate Rivera lives in Boynton Beach, Fla. He most recently fought in the octagon this past October, when he lost a split decision to Andre Ewell at UFC Vegas 11. A former Titan FC champ, he is 1-2 in three UFC outings.
UPDATE (1/7/2021, 9:56 p.m. ET): MMA Fighting has acquired police report which contains disturbing details of the incident (first reported by ESPN). An earlier version of the story contained information from an online booking record that was, in fact, incorrect. Rivera was charged with attempted murder, not first-degree premeditated murder as noted in the online booking record, per the police report.
According to the report, Rivera’s 22-year-old sister was found “lying adjacent to the roadway covered in blood with multiple wounds throughout her back, head and arm.” She informed officers that she had been stabbed and that her sister was in the house and had also been attacked. Rivera’s 33-year-old sister was then discovered inside the residence “covered in blood with multiple wounds throughout back, face, arms and hands.”
Rivera’s neighbors provided sworn statements that one of the sisters came to their door and that they called the police and positively identified Rivera.
The two sisters were staying at Rivera’s place when he allegedly attacked them in the middle of the night, per the report. Rivera was apprehended by officers from the Daytona Beach Police Department in the early morning after officers canvassed the area. In a sworn taped interview, he later admitted to stabbing both sisters with a brass-knuckle knife, claiming that “he killed both of his sisters and said that he did so because it was his purpose, which he was told by a higher power.”
Rivera was placed under arrest on two counts of attempted murder.