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Drunk MMA fighter sends Iowa City police officer to hospital

Vedepo, also known as 'The Doctor' in MMA circles, allegedly head butted an officer

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By Lee Hermiston, The Gazette

IOWA CITY — A mixed martial artist sent an Iowa City Police Officer to the hospital Friday during a drunken altercation.

According to Iowa City police criminal complaints, officers responded to the Sports Column at 2:22 p.m. Friday for a report of a man inside who refused to leave. Responding officers encountered Jody “Joe” Vedepo, 31, of Columbus Junction, who is also known as “The Doctor” according to Ultimate Fighting Championship and other mixed martial arts websites. According to a December 2000 Gazette article, Vedepo wrestled for City High in Iowa City as a senior.

Police said Vedepo told officers he “knew his rights” and was going back into the bar. Vedepo resisted the officers and head butted one officer in the chest, sending him to the hospital with injuries to his back. Officers took Vedepo to the ground and attempted to handcuff him, but he rolled his body and kicked his legs. Officers deployed a Taser in an attempt to subdue Vedepo, but it was ineffective, police said.

According to criminal complaints, it took several officers to pull Vedepo’s hands behind his back.

Police said Vedepo was placed in the back of one squad car, but needed to be transferred to another. After he was moved, he began to kick at officers and made contact with one of them, police said.

Vedepo had slow, slurred speech, was “very unsteady” on his feet and had difficulty speaking in complete sentences, police said. His post arrest breath test indicated he had a blood alcohol content of .241 percent or three times the legal limit to operate a vehicle in Iowa.

Vedepo was arrested and now faces one count of assault causing injury to a peace officer, an aggravated misdemeanor; two counts of assault on peace officers, a serious misdemeanor; and one count of public intoxication, a simple misdemeanor. He remains in custody on a $10,000 cash-only bond.

According to various websites, Vedepo has compiled a 17-9-0 record in the Ultimate Fighting Championship and Bellator MMA. He last fought professionally on Nov. 15, losing to Muhammed Lawal via technical knockout.

Online court records also indicate Vedepo has a lengthy criminal history in Iowa, with convictions on drug and theft charges and multiple counts of public intoxication. Court records also indicate Vedepo sued the Sports Column in June 2006. Vedepo withdrew the lawsuit in August 2008.

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