UFC Bantamweight Irwin Rivera Arrested on Two Counts of Attempted Murder

Irwin Rivera and Ali Al Qaisi, UFC Vegas 6
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - AUGUST 08: (L-R) Irwin Rivera of Mexico punches Ali AlQaisi of Jordan in their bantamweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on August 08, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC)

Update: Online records with the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office originally listed Irwin Rivera as charged with two counts of first degree murder. An arrest report later released by the police department lists Rivera as charged with attempted murder.

UFC bantamweight Irwin Rivera’s career is on hold, and quite possibly over, following his arrest on Thursday on two counts of attempted murder.

Following a report by MyMMANews’ Eric Kowal, Cageside Press has confirmed with the Palm Beach County, Florida Sheriff’s Office that Rivera was taken into custody just past noon on Thursday, January 7 and hit with the charges, which indicate premeditation in regards to the act.

Irwin Rivera booking photo Credit: PBSO

Although police were unable to confirm additional details, confirm the names of the victims, and did not have a statement available, per Kowal’s original report, Rivera allegedly stabbed his sisters.

Online records confirm that Rivera was arrested in Boyton Beach, where he resides, and is being held without bond at the Main Detention Center at the Sheriff’s Headquarters Complex in West Palm Beach, Florida.

In a statement released to media outlets, UFC officials wrote that “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.” In went on to add that “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.”

Per a newly released police report, officers reporting to the scene of the incident in Boynton Beach, Florida reported a 22-year old “lying adjacent to the roadway covered in blood with multiple wounds throughout her back, head and arm. When asked what happened [the victim] stated that her brother had stabbed her and her sister was still in the house.” The 22-year old victim was transported to Delray Medical Center with two collapsed lungs. The second victim, 33-years old, was found incident the home also suffering from multiple stab wounds throughout the back, face, arms, and hands. This witness advised police that they had been visiting their brother [Rivera], sleeping in a spare room, only to awake to him stabbing them with a knife.

Rivera later admitted to stabbing his sisters, believing that he had killed them, and told officers that “he did so because it was his purpose, which was told to him by a higher power.”

Although booking records initially indicated Rivera had been charged with two counts of murder, both victims are recovering in hospital. Instead, he has been charged with two counts of attempted murder in the first degree.

Rivera (10-6) had posted a 1-2 record inside the octagon after joining the UFC last year. He last competed in September, losing a split decision against Andre Ewell. Rivera had been expected to return in March, with a bout against Ray Rodriguez lined up for the UFC’s March 13 card. The 31-year old had previously competed for Titan FC and Combate Americas, among other promotions. Rivera trained as part of Sanford MMA in south Florida, and is father to a young daughter.