Anthony Rocco Martin Facing Assault Charge After Threatening Police Officer, Stating “I Hate Cops”

Anthony Rocco Martin UFC
Anthony Rocco Martin Credit: Mike Straus/Cageside Press

Former UFC welterweight Anthony Rocco Martin is facing an assault charge following a December arrest in Lee County, Florida.

Online records obtained by Cageside Press reveal that Martin, who parted ways with the UFC in 2020 following a loss to Neil Magny, is facing a charge of Simple Assault — On Officer, Firefighter, EMT, Etc.

The charge is a Misdemeanor in the First Degree.

Credit: Lee County Sheriff’s Office

Martin was arrested by the Lee County Sheriff’s Office on December 21, 2022, and later posted a $5,000 bond, via a bail bondsman. His next hearing date arrives on January 10.

A public records request made by Cageside Press with the Lee County Sheriff’s Public Information Office provided an incident report with the name of at least one party redacted.

According to that report, police in Lee County attended an abandoned 9-1-1 call in the early morning hours of December 21, 2022 where they encountered “a black Ford Expedition” within which sat an unidentified female who was “crying, [and] at that time told [a Lee County Deputy] she just wanted to leave.”

“While speaking to [unidentified female], a white male exited the home and approached Deputies who were in the front yard. The male was later identified as Anthony Rocco Martin, born on 12/11/1989. Martin appeared inebriated and stated to law enforcement, ‘get off my fucking property right now.’ Martin was told Deputies were in the course of an active investigation, Martin approached [a Lee County Deputy] and [a second Lee County Deputy] stating, ‘I don’t care, and If you touch me I will kick your ass.'”

The report states that Martin continued to escalate the situation, “yelling and shouting statements such as, ‘I hate cops and you can suck my d*ck.’ Due to Martin’s aggressive behavior, [Deputy 1] placed Martin in hand restraints, for officer safety concerns due to Martin’s continuous attempts to square up face to face, in an aggressive posture with Deputies. While restrained, [Deputy 1] heard Martin state to [Deputy 2], ‘you think you’re a bad man, If you take me out of these cuffs’ I will kick your ass.'”

Per the report, deputies discovered later that Martin is a mixed martial artist who competes in competition. “It should be noted that due to these statements, [Deputy 2] was in fear of physical harm from Martin,” it adds.

It appears those threats were enough to warrant Martin’s arrest for Simple Assault. “Due to Martin threatening by word to do physical harm, with the apparent ability to carry out that threat, while Deputies on scene were in the lawful course of duty, decorated in patrol uniforms, and marked patrol vehicles that indicated the lawful authority of the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, with the offender acknowledging the that deputies present were indeed law enforcement officers, Martin was placed under lawful arrest pursuant to FSS 784.07:
assault on law enforcement etc.”

None of the allegations against Martin have been proven in court.

Martin exited the UFC after a sixteen-fight stint inside the octagon that saw the Illinois-born fighter, who now calls Minneapolis home, post a 10-6 record. The 33-year old has fought just once since, submitting Tim Bazer at CES 68 last May.

Of particular note is the timing of Martin’s arrest being made public. Just days ago, Martin took to social media with the claim that he would be releasing information regarding Kayla Harrison, Harrison’s manager Ali Abdelazziz, and fellow fighter Tyrone Spong, with the implication being that what he had would paint the trio in a less than flattering light.

I will be releasing sh*t on Kayla H, Ali A, and Tyrone Spong shortly,” Martin wrote on social media. In a second post, he added “Kayla won’t look so pretty in the world when the truth is out. Ali cared more about politics. And where does Tyrone fit in? Things are going to get interesting. Stay tuned.”

Martin is a former partner of Harrison, the PFL’s biggest star (pre-Jake Paul anyway), though the pair split some time ago. A final post by Martin on January 4 stated that “guns, threats, money, lies, cheating, kids, all of that is on the table.” No follow-up has yet been posted. However, in response to Martin’s posts, several accounts believed to be affiliated with Abdelazziz began spreading Martin’s mugshot from his December arrest. Previously, the story had not made it out to the media or general public.

Abdelazziz is no stranger to controversy. His character and murky associations have been under fire in MMA for years; as a former matchmaker for the World Series of Fighting, he had a clear conflict of interest while operating a fighter management firm, Dominance MMA, at the same time. More recently, Abdelazziz was embroiled in a feud with Fernand Lopez of MMA Factory in France, who coaches Ciryl Gane, among others. Leaked snippets of a conversation between the two had Abdelazziz claiming “I f*cking own the media.”

The conflict stemmed from a dispute over heavyweight Slim Trabelsi, who Lopez claimed to have a management contract with. The fighter was briefly expected to appear at UFC 280, a deal apparently arranged by Abdelazizz, and quashed by Lopez, who also runs ARES FC, where Trabelsi most recently competed.

As with Martin, several dubious sources quickly began circulating claims of illegal behavior on the part of Lopez. Yet despite claims of a “massive” criminal record, no documentation has been made public. Similar claims were made against Martin — which Cageside Press has been unable to verify beyond his December arrest.

Martin was previously arrested in November 2021, after urinating on the floor of a Las Vegas casino and assaulting a security guard while intoxicated. Charges against the fighter were later dropped.