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Recent UFC heavyweight Ben Sosoli sentenced to 22 months for punching bar patron

Ben Sosoli, aka ‘Combat Wombat’, plead guilty to recklessly causing serious injury.

UFC Fight Night: Sosoli v Da Lima Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

New Zealand-born heavyweight Ben Sosoli, who lost to Marcos Rogerio de Lima at UFC on ESPN+ 25 in February, was sentenced to 22 months in jail for punching a man outside a Melbourne bar. Sosoli must serve 11 months of his sentence before being considered for parole.

According to Yahoo! news the 30-year-old fighter plead guilty to recklessly causing serious injury at a Victoria County Court this week. That charge is in relation to an incident that occurred at Jacksons Lounge Bar in Toorak, Australia in September 2019.

Sosoli was working as a ‘responsible service of alcohol officer’ at the time. That night a patron, who was refused entry to the bar for being too drunk, snuck into the establishment on two occasions. Sosoli then marched the man outside and punched him in the jaw. The man would require specialist facial surgery to repair the damage.

Sosoli told police the patron had threatened to “f—k [him] up”.

Judge Gavin Meredith told Sosoli that he should have expected to encounter argumentative and aggressive patrons and that he should have dealt with the matter appropriately. “You are expected not to respond to provocation in the way you did,” he said.

Yahoo! reports that Sosoli’s contract with the UFC has been canceled. Despite this, Sosoli’s profile remains online at

Sosoli, whose fight nickname is ‘Combat Wombat’, started his pro MMA career in 2013. After amassing a record of 6-2, he appeared on the 28th season of The Ultimate Fighter in 2018. He was eliminated from that competition by eventual series winner Juan Espino.

After two fights outside of the UFC Sosoli returned in 2019, appearing in Dana White’s Contender Series. On that show he faced Dustin Joynson, but the bout was ruled a no contest after Sosoli was judged to have incapacitated Joynson with an accidental eye gouge. However, replays failed to definitively show whether or not Sosoli’s fingers made contact with Joynson’s eye.

Despite the no contest Sosoli was booked to face Greg Hardy at UFC on ESPN 6 two months later. That fight ended in a no contest, too, after Hardy used an inhaler in between rounds.

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