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MMA fighter kills US airman with one punch outside FL bar

Ambulance (Dreamstime/TNS)
April 13, 2023

A U.S. airman was killed in a fight outside a bar in Florida Sunday night after being punched one time by a mixed martial arts fighter.

U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Dayvon Larry, 31, of Malone, Florida, was killed after fights broke out both inside and outside the Coyote Ugly Saloon in Panama City Beach, NBC News reported

Ross Johnson, a 23-year-old MMA fighter from Carterville, Illinois, later confessed to attacking Larry and has been charged with manslaughter.

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According to his fighter profile on Sherdog, Johnson has had one professional fight, which he lost in 2021, and six amateur fights, five of which he won. The profile states that he is a lightweight fighter weighing 155 pounds.

A police incident report stated that Larry did not participate in the bar fights, but possibly knew someone who was involved in an argument before the fights broke out, NBC reported. 

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Police said he was punched one time in a parking lot, NBC reported. An autopsy report said he had a skull fracture and a “softball”-sized bruise behind his ear, the Daily Mail reported.

Johnson allegedly told a witness, “I think I killed him,” and took part in another fight before fleeing to his hotel room using a ride-share service, the Daily Mail reported. He was identified as a suspect using security camera footage and initially told conflicting stories about the event, but ended up confessing to killing Larry, NBC reported.

The nearby Tyndall Air Force Base, where Larry was based, confirmed one of its members died without naming them, the Daily Mail reported.

“This is a devastating loss for team Tyndall,” officials at the base wrote. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the family, friends and fellow [airmen] during this tough time.”