LAS CRUCES (KRQE) - He's used to throwing punches, but a mixed martial arts fighter got into a brawl outside the ring that left him critically injured.
Police who investigated the case say the MMA fighter was looking for trouble at a swimming pool but one punch to his head and he was out cold.
Las Cruces police say Nate Patterson got into a dangerous brawl at an apartment complex just off the NMSU campus on March 30. They say an employee asked another guy to help him get people out of the pool area, but Patterson didn't want to go.
The man reportedly told Patterson to calm down, but he didn't. Officers say instead Patterson went after the man who kept backing up and trying to avoid a fight.
"He was trying to avoid a confrontation with Mr. Patterson, but I guess at some point he realized he couldn't back up any more and so one punch did it," Las Cruces Police Department spokesman Dan Trujillo said. "That's all it took."
Patterson was out cold. When police arrived, he wasn't responding.
He was flown to an El Paso hospital and has since been released.
Patterson's Facebook page was filled with people praying for him and wishing him well. As for the man who hit him: officers are not filing charges because he was defending himself.
According to online court records, Patterson's past includes drugs and a conviction for aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.
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