Brett Rogers, a product of St. Paul who once challenged for the Strikeforce Heavyweight Championship, was arrested on Wednesday for allegedly treating his wife like one of his opponents.
Rogers was born in Chicago but moved to St. Paul as a 4th-grader. A few years ago, Rogers made a living delivering the Pioneer Press and changing tires at Sam's Club. After a sudden rise to near the top of the mixed martial arts world, Rogers' career may be over for good after Wednesday's arrest.[jump]
Rogers, who told police he had been drinking at the time of the incident, is alleged to have punched his wife repeatedly and choked her until she passed out. Rogers' children tried unsuccessfully to stop him. Rogers' oldest daughter told police that he had hit their mother -- and his children -- before.
Now charged with stalking, third-degree assault, domestic assault by strangulation and endangerment of a child, Rogers' contract with Strikeforce was terminated Thursday afternoon.
Rogers, 30, launched his career with a stunning knockout of former Ultimate Fighting Champion Andrei Arlovski in only 22 seconds. So swift and decisive were Rogers' early wins that he gave himself the nickname "The Grim," as in Reaper, an allusion to his deadly touch.
"My name is the Grim," Rogers told City Pages in 2009. "I be the soul snatcher."
But after his early success, Rogers could never win the big match. In his first marquee match with Russian legend Fedor Emelianenko in 2009, Rogers inflicted a good amount of damage but was knocked out in the second round. Last year Rogers got a chance at Strikeforce Heavyweight Champion Alisair Overeem, but found himself overmatched, losing on a technical knockout in the first round.
On June 18, at Strikeforce: Dallas, Rogers squared off against Josh Barnett in the first round of an eight-man tournament. In the second round, Barnett choked Rogers into submission.
Rogers' bail was set at $100,000, and he is scheduled to appear again in court today.