MMA friendly US Senator tries to knuckle up with Teamster boss

Ex MMA fighter and US Senator Markwayne Mullin attempted to fight Teamsters General President Sean M. O'Brien in a hearing today.

By: Nate Wilcox | 3 weeks ago
MMA friendly US Senator tries to knuckle up with Teamster boss
US Senator Markwayne Mullin | MichaelxBrochstein / ZUMA Wire, IMAGO

Looks like the UFC 295 action was so good this past weekend that a few fans were still hyped up from the events.

But I’m not here to write about some fans who got carried away in a Dave & Buster’s parking lot after watching the fights. No this wasn’t a bar brawl or some friendly parking lot pugilism, but a threatened altercation on the floor of the United States Senate.

Senator Markwayne Mullin tries to fight Teamster president

First term Senator (R-OK) Markwayne Mullin got fighty at a Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) hearing with Teamsters General President Sean M. O’Brien and Sen. Bernie Sanders had to step in and stop it.

“The last time, him and I kinda had a back-and-forth,” Mullin began, before getting to his feet to challenge O’Brien. “Appreciate your demeanor today, it’s quite different. But, after you left here, you got pretty excited about the keyboard. In fact, you ‘Tweeted’ at me one, two, three, four, five times. And let me read what the last one says. Says: ‘Greedy CEO, who pretends like he’s self made.’

“Sir, I wish you was in the truck with me, when I was building my plumbing company myself, and my wife was running the office. Because, I sure remember working pretty hard and long hours. ‘Pretends like he’s self made, what a clown.'” Mullin continued, reading the Tweet. “‘Fraud. Always has been. Always will be. Quit the tough guy act in these Senate hearings, you know where to find me. Any place, any time, cowboy.’

“Sir, this is the time, this is the place. You want to continue running your mouth, we can be two consenting adults, finish it here.”

“Okay, that’s fine. Perfect,” O’Brien responded unfazed.

“You want to do it now?” Mullin continued, before rising to his feet, when challenged by O’Brien to stand up.

Committee chair Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) had to remind Mullin he was a U.S. Senator and the U.S. Capitol is no place for a scrap.

This didn’t come out of the blue. Mullin and O’Brien have had previous heated encounters.

Senator Mullin challenges O’Brien to charity MMA fight

Earlier this summer, Mullin, the owner of a 3-0 professional MMA record and O’Brien got crosswise when Mullin wanted to discuss allegations of union members “physically confronting” workers who didn’t wish to join the union.

As CNN reported at the time:

“’I’m not afraid of physical confrontation, in fact sometimes I look forward to it. That’s not my problem,’ he said. Mullin is a former mixed martial arts fighter.

“He asked O’Brien his salary. ‘Well, I’m glad you asked that question,’ began O’Brien, before Mullin cut him off by reading off his 2019 annual income. O’Brien and Mullin went back and forth on what UPS drivers make, with O’Brien saying Mullin’s numbers were ‘inaccurate.’

“O’Brien told Mullin that his line of questioning was ‘out of line,’”’ at which point Mullin replied, ‘Sir, you need to shut your mouth.

“’You’re gonna tell me to shut my mouth?’ O’Brien fired back. ‘Tough guy. ‘I’m not afraid of physical confrontation.’”

Unsurprisingly the fight did not happen and fans should never expect either of these two clowns to engage in anything approaching an actual fist fight against one another.

Mullin talks about it on Newsmax

Another follow up interview with Mullin

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About the author
Nate Wilcox
Nate Wilcox

Nate Wilcox is the founding editor of As such he has hired every editor and writer to work for the site. Wilcox’s writing for BE is known for its emphasis on MMA history, the evolution of fighting techniques and strong opinions. Wilcox developed the SBN MMA consensus rankings which were featured in USA Today from 2009 to 2011. Before founding BE, Wilcox was a political operative working for such figures as Senators John Kerry and Mark Warner and an early political blogger. He is the co-author of Netroots Rising, a history of the political blogosphere from 2003 to 2007. Wilcox also hosts the Let It Roll podcast on music history for the Pantheon Podcast Network.

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