Former UFC middleweight Alessio Di Chirico recently found himself in the headlines after a troubling clash with a Spanish taxi driver in Formentera.

Di Chirico, who retired from mixed martial arts following a knockout loss to Roman Kopylov in what marked his 11th promotional appearance at UFC Paris last September, was arrested by the Civil Guard on Monday after striking a taxi driver.

While the Italian was apprehended, the individual he was accused of assaulting underwent surgery at an Ibiza hospital to repair a broken cheekbone. He was also reported to have suffered damage to one eye from the incident, which was said to have arose after Di Chirico was denied permission to exceed the legal limit of passengers in the backseat.

Image: Diario de Ibiza

The altercation was captured on hotel surveillance cameras, with the footage being viewed by law enforcement prior to Di Chirico’s arrest. The former fighter was held overnight before being handed a restraining order that requires him to maintain a 100-meter distance from the alleged victim.

Now days on from the incident, Di Chirico has provided his side of the story.

Di Chirico Apologizes For His Actions, But Claims Driver Was Set To ‘Attack’

In a recent post on Instagram, Di Chirico broke down the events that led to him striking the taxi driver.

The upload, which was translated from Italian by Al Zullino, saw “Manzo” confirm that his inability to sit with his family during the taxi ride was the root of the animosity. Di Chirico claimed that his son repeatedly hit his head due to the lack of a child seat and because he couldn’t hold him.

“We left the restaurant where we had dinner and called a taxi. The driver insisted on having me sit in the front seat, leaving the children in the back seat without a child seat, with my wife who was already holding one of our two sleeping children,” Di Chirico recalled. “During the ride, my son hit his head several times on the seat in front of him, due to the lack of a suitable child seat and the absence of an adult holding him. I had not realized the risk we were taking when we decided to continue the ride, but during the journey, I became scared and concerned to the point where I insisted that the driver let me go back with the children.

“After my request, the driver stopped suddenly in the middle of the countryside, threatening to leave us there, in the dark, with the children who would certainly have been scared and at risk of being hit by another vehicle,” Di Chirico continued. “When he stated that he did not want to go back to the restaurant to call another taxi, I begged him to continue driving, and immediately after that, my son hit his head again on the seat.”

Di Chirico continued, noting that the taxi driver’s attitude remained hostile at the end of the trip. After paying for the journey and exchanging insults, the former UFC fighter alleged that the man approached him to “attack” and initiated the first physical contact.

Despite implying that his decision to hit the driver was one of self-defense, Di Chirico apologized and admitted that he feels “ashamed” of how things unfolded.

“Once we arrived at the hotel, after my son’s repeated headbutts, he even smiled. I paid. We verbally argued and insulted each other, then we got out of the car,” Di Chirico wrote. “He came towards me to attack me, placing a hand on my face, and I reacted. I struck him once, and there are videos that show it. I was wrong, and I am ready to face the consequences of my mistake. I feel ashamed of what happened. I quit sports a year ago to be closer to my family, and yet today, for this very reason, my wife and children are receiving death threats.

“I take full responsibility in the clearest possible way. I have spent my entire career defending and promoting the values of loyalty, sportsmanship, and respect, and I am fully aware that violence cannot be a solution in any case. I accept criticism, and I apologize with all my strength to everyone I have disappointed. First and foremost, I apologize to the person I struck. I ask you to leave my family out of this situation. Thank you,” Di Chirico concluded.

Di Chirico ended his UFC tenure with a 4-7 record. While he suffered losses to the likes of Kevin Holland, Abdul Razak Alhassan, and Makhmud Muradov, the 33-year-old Rome native recorded a number of notable wins, including over Joaquin Buckley and Julian Marquez.

Source link