As UFC bantamweight Irwin Rivera is being held in a behavioral health facility following his alleged stabbing at his two sisters, his family comes to his defense.
Irwin Rivera’s sister Lezlye Rivera posted an update on her Facebook account on Friday detailing her brother’s behavior prior to the alleged attack. She wrote that she and her sister, Kelly Rivera, were “fine and fine” after the alleged attack and wanted to “clear things up” about what had happened – and express their support for their brother.
“We love our brother to the fullest and everyone who knows us n [sic] our family know exactly how much we LOVE each other and we all mean and know jst [sic] how close we are as a family, ”she wrote in the Facebook post, which was verified at MMA Fighting by her mother, Susana Campos. “All we want is for him to get the professional mental help he desperately needs.
Rivera, 31, is accused of repeatedly stabbing his sisters early Thursday morning in Boynton Beach, Florida. Police found a 22-year-old woman “covered in blood with multiple wounds” and told them that she and her sister had been assaulted by her brother and stabbed with a pair of brass knuckles. Rivera was apprehended four hours later by police and admitted to the act, according to an incident report released by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Department (Florida). He told the police that he believed he had killed his sisters and that he had done so because “that was his goal” and that he had “been ordered by a higher power”.
According to the incident report, the 22-year-old woman had two collapsed lungs. An ESPN.com report said one victim was in stable condition while the other was in critical condition after the attack.
Irwin Rivera made his first court appearance on Friday morning through a public defender and received a no-contact order against his family, a Palm Beach County court spokesperson told MMA Fighting Friday afternoon. After finding the probable cause of two attempted murder charges, he was ordered to be held without bail. An emergency motion has been passed to use the Baker Act, which allows people with mental illness to be involuntarily detained for up to 72 hours in a mental health treatment facility, the spokesperson said.
Rivera was ordered to be held in a locked unit at the behavioral health facility because he could not receive proper treatment in prison, the spokesperson said. When he meets the criteria to leave the behavioral health facility, he will be returned to prison. He is due back in court on March 4 for a first case conference.
Lezlye Rivera wrote that she traveled to Florida last weekend to see her brother because he “wasn’t sleeping or talking like him and was completely losing interest in his training, which we all know what he lives for. ”
“Unfortunately his mental stage was worse then [sic] we could imagine it and before we could help it it broke completely, ”she wrote. “It is not easy for me or my family, but I ask to please keep MY BROTHER in your prayers, pray that he can stabilize himself and come back to us bc [sic] In the past 24 hours, his mindset has been completely corrupted into something unrecognizable.
Campos, meanwhile, told Milenio: “My son lost his memory and something bad took hold of him for a few days” and “his mind was blocked, he was no longer him.
In a statement, the UFC said the allegations against Rivera are “extremely disturbing” and that the promotion is investigating her case. Meanwhile, the bantamweight career has been put on hiatus. According to Rivera’s management company, Dominance MMA, he had “exhibited behavior consistent with mental health issues.”
Rivera recently fought in the Octagon last October, when he lost a split decision to Andre Ewell at UFC Vegas 11.
Here is Lezlye Rivera’s full post on Facebook.