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Thank You, Axl Rotten (And R.I.P.)

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

RIP: "Judo" Gene LeBell

  I don't post much, but I'd be remiss if I didn't mention yesterday's passing of "Judo" Gene LeBell, an iconic figure if there ever was one.

  I literally have memories of him going as far back as I can remember, whether it was through his decades-long involvement in pro wrestling (in and out of the ring), his equally lengthy acting and stunt roles (especially those on 'Married... With Children'), or his training of mixed-martial-artists (including Ronda Rousey).

  LeBell was 89.

Thursday, March 31, 2022


'I could taste the blood in my mouth' woman says; charges against former UFC title contender reduced from felony battery by strangulation to six misdemeanor counts

LAS VEGAS, March 31, 2022 -- Dr. Christopher Stellpflug, a dentist from California, and his wife Julie Stellpflug, a business manager at the dental practice, were viciously attacked by former Ultimate Fighting Championship contender Chael Sonnen in a December 18 incident at the Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas that left Julie Stellpflug bloodied and Dr. Stellpflug unable to breathe, according to their attorney, Kory Kaplan of the law firm Kaplan Cottner.

The attack took place at approximately 7:30 p.m. in the hallway of the 35th floor of the Four Seasons as the Stellpflugs were returning to their room while on vacation in Las Vegas.

"We were walking toward our room when I saw this big guy in the hallway, and I could tell he was really messed up, making unintelligible noises," Julie Stellpflug said. "He had no shoes or socks on, his shirt was partially ripped off and he had blood on his clothing. We tried to avoid him, but he came at Chris and violently knocked the cup he was holding out of his hand.

"I tried to tell him that we were just trying to walk to our room, but he gets Chris into a headlock and starts viciously beating on him with his fists. At that point I started screaming for help, but he threw Chris to the other side of the hallway, got on top of him and kept beating on him.

"He punched me in the face multiple times, then threw me against the wall. I hit my head on a light fixture and slumped down against the wall. My lip was split open and I could taste the blood in my mouth."

Julie Stellpflug stands at 5-foot-3 and weighs 125 pounds.

Sonnen, 6-foot-1, fought as a heavyweight during his professional MMA career. Christopher Stellpflug and Julie Stellpflug both suffered concussions in the attack.

They are both currently in treatment with a neurologist as a result of the attack. The couple has two boys, ages 7 and 12.

Although Sonnen was originally charged with a felony count of battery by strangulation and 10 misdemeanor counts of battery, on Wednesday Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Joe Bonaventure allowed prosecutors to file an amended criminal complaint, reducing the charges against Sonnen to six misdemeanor counts.

The Stellpflugs objected to the reduction in charges, speculating that Sonnen may be receiving special treatment due to his celebrity status.

"This shows that if you are the victim of an unprovoked violent attack in Las Vegas, you better hope the attacker is not a celebrity, or you may not see justice," Christopher Stellpflug said.

Reacting to Sonnen's claim that he has no memory of the events of that night, Julie Stellpflug said: "I wish I didn't remember that night."

Kaplan said: "This is unlike anything I have ever seen. My clients were contacted by the Clark County District Attorney's office and told directly that felony charges were appropriate. My clients had no chance to discuss the matter further with the District Attorney's office, yet the decision was made against their wishes to drop the felony charge."

Christopher Stellpflug said the violent, unprovoked attack by Sonnen left him unable to breathe and floating in and out of consciousness.

"When we got out of the elevator we saw this huge dude looking very disheveled with his shirt ripped in half and blood on his robe," Christopher Stellpflug said. "He starts getting very aggressive and flicks the drink out of my hand.

"Suddenly he's on top of me, pounding me with his fists, then he puts me in a chokehold and I can't breathe. The dude was like a monster the way he came at me.

"When I looked up, I could see him throw Julie against the wall. She hit her head on a light fixture and slid down the wall to the floor. Eventually I helped her run down the hallway and got her into our room."

Several guests from neighboring hotel rooms heard the commotion and attempted to break up the assault, but Sonnen attacked them by throwing elbows and punching them with his closed fists, according to a Las Vegas Metropolitan Police report. By that time, security personnel from the hotel were responding to the scene.

"He grabbed one security guy by his head, kneed him in the face and busted his nose open," Christopher Stellpflug said. "What this guy did is not forgivable."

Sonnen, 44, a mixed martial arts analyst for ESPN, amassed a professional MMA record of 31-17-1 and was 0-3 in UFC world championship fights.

Contact: Jeff Haney
Office: (702) 385-7300
Cell: (702) 538-6117

SOURCE: Kaplan Cottner