MMA fighter accused of storming U.S. Capitol denied bail

A former mixed martial arts fighter accused of storming the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 insurrection has been denied bail by a federal…

By: Karim Zidan | 2 years ago
MMA fighter accused of storming U.S. Capitol denied bail
Bloody Elbow 2.0 | Anton Tabuena

A former mixed martial arts fighter accused of storming the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 insurrection has been denied bail by a federal judge in Washington, D.C.

Scott Fairlamb, who also runs a gym in Pompton Lakes, can allegedly be seen on video assaulting a police officer during the Capitol breach and was reportedly among the first to storm the building. He was identified after multiple people sent tips to the FBI, which led to his arrest in January. He was indicted in February on 12 federal criminal counts but pleaded not guilty on April 13.

Despite the alleged video evidence, Fairlamb’s attorney, Harley Breite, suggested that prosecutors had overblown her client’s actions. She admitted that her client had picked up the baton during the breach but claimed that he “never used it as a weapon” and was instead preventing others from using it. Despite Breite’s argument, Senior U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth ruled that Fairlamb would be held without bail pending the outcome of his trial. The judge also portrayed the former fighter as a danger to the community due to his violent criminal history, which includes several cases of assault.

“I think with his criminal history and the facts in this case, the evidence supports [Fairlamb’s continued detention,]” Lamberth said.

Fairlamb is also the brother of a Secret Service agent who once led Michelle Obama’s security team. However, he has avoided communicating with his brother since his arrest, according to his attorney.

Prosecutors also claimed that Fairlamb was an adherent of the far-right QAnon conspiracy movement—a statement which Fairlamb’s attorney shrugged off as nothing more than a concerned citizen voicing his “concerns for certain political ideologies.”

“To promote a conspiracy theory is not a crime in itself,” Breite told the judge last month.

It is worth noting that Fairlamb was among the business owners in New Jersey who attempted to defy stay-at home orders during the initial lockdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“[Gov. Phil Murphy] has overstepped his boundaries and it’s time for these gyms, that are, that are essential to open up,” Fairlamb said.

Fairlamb, who went by the nickname “Wildman” during his MMA career, compiled a 0-1 professional record. His amateur record is unknown. His final fight took place at Ring of Combat 31 in 2010, where he lost to Michael Andrillo by submission. At the time, he fought out of the AMA Fight Club, which boasted fighters such as Charlie Brenneman, Rafaello Oliveira, and Ricardo Romero.

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About the author
Karim Zidan
Karim Zidan

Karim Zidan is a investigative reporter and feature writer focusing on the intersection of sports and politics. He has written for BloodyElbow since 2014 and has served as an associate editor since 2016. He also writes for The New York Times and The Guardian. Karim has been invited to speak about his work at numerous universities, including Princeton, and was a panelist at the South by Southwest (SXSW) film festival and the Oslo Freedom Forum. He also participated in the United Nations counter-terrorism conference in 2021. His reporting on Ramzan Kadyrov’s involvement in MMA, much of which was done for Bloody Elbow, has led to numerous award nominations, and was the basis of an award-winning HBO Real Sports documentary.

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