Earlier this month, UFC veteran Rodrigo de Lima was reportedly hit and killed by an Uber driver in Belem, Brazil.
The driver, Jefferson Roger Maciel Barata, has now confessed to this crime. He has been arrested and will reportedly be charged with murder (via MMA Fighting).
In his police statement, Barata claimed that he had been an argument with De Lima and his fellow passengers. He claims that he had asked the passengers — one of which was current UFC fighter Michel Prazeres — to keep it down. De Lima allegedly responded by punching him. Barata claims he later returned with his car with the intention of frightening De Lima, but no intention of hurting or killing him.
“I’ve always thought of a way to raise my family and not let my children grow up without a father,” Barata said (via UOL). “I feel for his family, I regret it, I’ve already asked God for forgiveness. It was one of the things I feared the most: Taking someone’s life. I started working in this job to have more time in the church, I became a director for the youth, teaching music in the church, and this ended up happening.
”I’ve asked God and his family for forgiveness,” he added. “It wasn’t my goal to take anyone’s life. I’ve never done anything bad to anyone. Today was going to be my wedding. I was going to start a new life, and this happened. I’ll pay for what I’ve done, and I regret it deeply. I ask his family and friends for forgiveness.”
De Lima, who was married with two children, last fought in June when he defeated Luiz Fabiano under the Shooto Brazil banner. His next two most recent bouts occurred under the UFC banner, where was came up short in bouts with Ultimate Fighter veterans Efrain Escudero and Neil Magny. He was 9-3-1 as a professional mixed martial artist.
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 4/28/2019.