A 19-year-old college student is suing UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping for allegedly choking him during a gym altercation several months ago in California.
The plaintiff, Antonio Georgakopoulos, accuses Bisping of battery, assault, false imprisonment and intentional infliction of emotional distress. It was filed in Orange County on Monday.
TMZ first reported news of the lawsuit, a copy of which was obtained by ESPN.
According to the complaint, the alleged incident occurred July 31 at a 24 Hour Fitness.
The complaint states Bisping confronted Georgakopoulos for taking his weights and called him a “punk” and an “idiot.” The complaint goes on to say that “at some point” Bisping extended his right arm to “squeeze [Georgakopoulos’] neck for two to three seconds.”
Bisping allegedly released Georgakopoulos after another gym member intervened and yelled, “Let’s take this outside!”
Anaheim Police Department public information officer Sgt. Daron Wyatt confirmed to ESPN that officers responded to the incident, but no arrest was made. Wyatt said Bisping already had left the area by the time officers arrived but has “fully cooperated with the investigation.”
According to Wyatt, the City Attorney’s office already has reviewed the investigation and determined there was not enough evidence to support criminal charges.
Bisping’s representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
In addition to Bisping, Georgakopoulos has named the UFC, parent company WME-IMG and 24 Hour Fitness as defendants.
The complaint states Georgakopoulos suffered injuries to his “throat and neck.” He is seeking punitive damages “in an amount appropriate to punish the defendants and deter others from engaging in similar misconduct.”
Bisping, 38, is scheduled to defend his title against Georges St-Pierre at UFC 217 on Nov. 4 in New York.