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Nevada manhunt on for professional fighter accused of severely beating two

By Alexia Shurmur

LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - Las Vegas police were searching on Tuesday for a professional mixed martial artist whose ex-girlfriend says he broke her nose and facial bones and ruptured her liver when he beat her and a friend last week.

Jonathan Koppenhaver, known as "War Machine" from his time in the Ultimate Fighting Championship, is the prime suspect in the Aug. 8 assault, according to an arrest warrant issued by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department on Monday.

Police have not released the names of the two victims, but Koppenhaver's ex-girlfriend, porn actress Christy Mack, posted a description of the dispute and several photos of her injuries on her Twitter account.

In her description, Mack said Koppenhaver entered her Las Vegas home around 4 a.m. while Mack was with a friend, and immediately attacked the pair. She said he forced her to undress and shower in front of him, then dragged her out and started hitting her face.

Mack said she suffered 18 broken bones around her eyes, a broken nose, missing teeth, a fractured rib and a ruptured liver. She said she feared for her life and that Koppenhaver had beaten her "many times before, but never this badly."

The photos show her face, lips and eyes swollen shut and deep bruising to one of her thighs.

Koppenhaver said on his Twitter account, "The cops will never give me fair play, never believe me. Still deciding what to do but at the end of the day it's all just heart breaking."

Bellator MMA, a mixed martial arts promotion company that sponsored Koppenhaver, cut ties with the fighter on Friday after news of the assault surfaced.

"We have a zero tolerance policy here at Bellator when it relates to any form of domestic violence," company president Scott Coker said in a statement.

Koppenhaver faces felony charges of domestic battery with substantial bodily harm, assault with a deadly weapon and battery by strangulation, police said.

In an unrelated domestic violence incident, Koppenhaver was arrested and found guilty of misdemeanor battery in 2009, and underwent court-mandated domestic violence counseling.

(Additional reporting and writing by Curtis Skinner in New York; Editing by Mohammad Zargham)

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