Christian UFC fighter Bryce Mitchell made a triumphant comeback following his first career loss last December.
Mitchell faced off against top featherweight contender Dan Ige at the UFC Vegas 79 event, held at the UFC APEX in Las Vegas on Saturday night.
The highlight of the evening was an unexpected and spiritually charged moment when Mitchell, known as “Thug Nasty,” entered the octagon holding a Bible over his head.
As the crowd welcomed the 29-year-old fighter, Mitchell passionately shouted, “Freedom!” while brandishing the Bible high above him. His purpose became clear as he addressed the audience: “I brought this Bible in here tonight because I do believe Satan is taking over this Earth, and something specifically I’m talking about is these fires in Hawaii.” Mitchell’s heartfelt concern for the people of Hawaii, who had endured devastating fires, resonated with the crowd. “I know they lost friends, they lost their homes, they lost their children, and I love these people with all my heart,” he expressed, while he and Dan Ige, a native Hawaiian, stood with their arms around each other.
In a powerful declaration, Mitchell proclaimed, “We have to show Satan that he can’t do anything through the power of Christ when we come together.” He continued to express his belief that the fires in Hawaii were not natural but rather man-made, suggesting a plot to take land from the natives. He called upon Dan Ige to lead the world in a prayer against the power of Satan.
When the interviewer, Michael Bisping, attempted to shift the discussion to the fight itself, Mitchell persisted, stating, “These fires in Hawaii, I don’t believe they were natural, I believe they were man-made. They’re trying to take the land from the natives, and I want Dan Ige, a native Hawaiian, to lead this world in prayer against the power of Satan.”
After congratulating both fighters, Mitchell asked Bisping to allow Dan Ige to lead a prayer. Although Bisping initially appeared perplexed, he ultimately announced Mitchell as the fight’s winner.
Following the announcement, Mitchell and Ige knelt on the mat, engaging in a prayer that was inaudible to the spectators but undoubtedly carried profound significance for the two fighters.
When asked for his thoughts on Mitchell bringing a Bible into the cage, UFC founder Dana White initially claimed to have “no reaction.” However, he clarified, “There’s no muzzles here. … Whoever you are, whatever you believe, whatever you think, … this is one of those places where you say what you feel, say what you want, and it’s all good with me.” The reason for Bisping’s refusal to allow the prayer remains unclear.
The video of the post-fight interview, posted on the official UFC YouTube channel, mysteriously cuts off just as Mitchell and Ige begin their prayer.
This is amazing!!!
Bryce Mitchell went into his fight last night holding a BIBLE and yelled FREEDOM!!!
He won his fight last night…
— Graham Allen (@GrahamAllen_1) September 24, 2023
Bryce Mitchell, originally from Cabot, Arkansas, holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and has pursued a career in MMA. In addition to his endeavors inside the octagon, Mitchell is an aspiring rapper, earning the moniker “Thug Nasty,” and a cattle farmer.
Prior to the fight, Mitchell, who was raised in a Christian household, disclosed in an interview with UFC commentator Brendan Fitzgerald that he had recently rekindled his faith following a harrowing encounter with “a person who was possessed by demons.” Describing the unsettling event, Mitchell explained, “I won’t get too specific, but I was arguing with the possessed person, and it’s very clear when somebody’s possessed.” He recounted how the person was talking to a wall, and he suddenly felt a “dark presence.”
Recognizing the gravity of the situation, Mitchell said, “I felt my stomach drop and I felt something I’d never felt before, and I knew that my sin had led me to this path, and that there was no way out.” In this dire moment, Mitchell resorted to his Christian upbringing. “I was raised by my mother who always taught me the word of Jesus, the word of Jesus, the power of Jesus, and, so in that moment, the first thing that came to mind is the word of Jesus, and I said, ‘In the name of Jesus Christ, I command all evil to leave,'” he recalled.
As if by divine intervention, the possessed individual departed immediately. “And from that day, I have dedicated my life to Jesus. I owe him everything,” Mitchell concluded. His faith journey and the remarkable events surrounding his fight have captured the attention of fans and spectators worldwide.
After his victory last night, UFC Fighter Bryce Mitchell:
-Held up the Bible
-Said the Hawaii wildfires were not natural and Satan caused them.
-Pledged to donate $5,000 to Maui victims
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) September 24, 2023