All-time MMA fights leader Travis Fulton dies in jail cell of apparent suicide

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Travs Fulton, top, died of apparent suicide on Saturday. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images for IFL)
Travs Fulton, top, died of apparent suicide on Saturday. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images for IFL)

Former professional fighter Travis Fulton, who competed in the most MMA bouts in the sport's history, died in his jail cell of apparent suicide on Saturday in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

According to the Linn County Sheriff’s Office, a jail worker conducting a routine sweep around 4 a.m. found Fulton unresponsive after he appeared to have hanged himself. After attempts to resuscitate him failed, Fulton was transported to Mercy Medical Center, where he was declared dead around 5 a.m., according to LCSO. He was 44 years old.

The cause of death remains under investigation as officials await the results of an autopsy.

Fulton faced multiple child pornography charges

According to the Cedar Rapids Gazette, Fulton was indicted in February on three charges related to child pornography. He faced one count of sexual exploitation of a child, one count of possessing child pornography and one count of receiving child pornography. He had been in the Linn County Jail since his Feb. 19 arrest.

Per court records obtained by the Gazette, Fulton was accused of photographing a girl under 18 over the course of several years and enticing her to engage in sexually explicit conduct. He also allegedly possessed or attempted to possess visual depictions of a minor 12 years or younger engaged in sexually explicit conduct on a flash drive, according to records obtained by ESPN. He faced a maximum of 70 years in prison.

According to court records filed on the Friday before his death, Fulton agreed to plead guilty to two charges and had a plea hearing set for July 23.

Fulton competed in MMA since 1996

According to Sherdog, Fulton competed in 320 MMA fights from 1996-2019 across multiple federations, compiling a 255-54-10 record with one no contest. His nickname was "The Ironman," a nod to his longevity.

He competed twice in the early days of UFC, posting a 1-1 record fighting in UFC 20 and 21. He last fought in M-1 Global — Road to M-1 on April 4, 2019, recording a submission win over Shannon Ritch.

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