UFC fighter Di Chirico claims taxi driver ‘came towards me to attack me’
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Former UFC middleweight Alessio Di Chirico is sharing his side of the story after being arrested for assaulting a cab driver on Formentera, a small island to the south of Ibiza.
News came out earlier this week via Diario de Ibiza that the 13-7 fighter (4-7 UFC) punched the driver, fracturing his cheekbone and getting glass in his eye. The dispute was reportedly over the driver not allowing four passengers in the backseat area of the car.
Now Di Chirico is expanding on the incident while apologizing for his actions.
“Now that I am home and my family is no longer in danger, it is necessary for me to shed light on what happened,” he wrote in a statement translated by Italian MMA journalist Al Zullino. “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.
“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.
“Upon our further complaints about the situation, he once again stopped the car in the middle of the countryside. 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. 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,” he finished. “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.”
Alessio Di Chirico retired from competition following a loss to Roman Kopylov at the UFC’s Paris show in September of 2022. The loss ended his career on a 1-5 skid. His most notable win with the promotion was a head kick KO victory over Joaquin Buckley, halting Buckley’s momentum after his knockout of the year spinning back kick win over Impa Kasanganay the year before.