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Twitch Streamer’s MMA Event Ends With Fighter Whipping His Dick Out, Starting Brawl

Another day in the office for both the content creation and combat sports businesses

Twitch / Mizkif

Over the weekend, popular Twitch streamer Matthew “Mizkif” Rinaudo hosted an MMA event at a gym in Austin that he co-owns alongside other fitness-minded streamers. It ended pretty much the only way it could: with a fighter who had just lost whipping his dick out and inciting a multi-man melee in the cage. Rinaudo, commentators, and viewers ate up the ensuing spectacle.  

“A fight just broke out at my MMA event, and the fighter is outside getting arrested right now,” Rinaduo said on Twitter. “I love this sport.”

He then clarified how it all started for those watching along on Twitch and other platforms, a moment that the cameras – luckily for Rinaudo, who has a vested interest in remaining unbanned – did not fully catch. 

"This fight happened, and the guy who lost whipped his dick out in front of the audience, and was arrested,” Rinaudo wrote.

In broad strokes, it’s not difficult to see how we arrived here. But sometimes, with enough amassed domain knowledge, you can peer into the depths of a single moment and perceive precisely how the dominoes fell. When I’m not writing about video games or touching grass, I spend my time hoovering up exactly two flavors of trash: MMA news and Twitch drama. So unfortunately, I was made for this moment. Let’s break it down.

Rinaudo is a streamer who got his start as a cameraman for Paul “Ice Poseidon” Denino, who was perma-banned from Twitch in 2017 after a series of escalating real-life stunts saw him get swatted while boarding a plane. More recently, Denino found himself in hot water on Kick for streaming an encounter between a friend and a sex worker while he and another streamer, unbeknownst to the sex worker, hid in a nearby room. 

Rinaudo is also no stranger to scandal, with his biggest – an alleged 2022 cover up of a sexual assault incident between two other streamers – getting him temporarily booted from OTK, the content creation company he owns alongside other big names like Asmongold and Esfand, which already saw another member, Rich Campbell, resign in the wake of his own set of sexual assault allegations in 2022. Also in 2022, a third-party investigation from legal firm Jackson Walker – now, as Bloomberg Law puts it, in "Legal Hot Seat Following Judge Romance Scandal" – found Rinaudo innocent of the coverup, but OTK added in a statement that Rinaudo would remain suspended from OTK's board of directors due to his "callous disregard towards the severity of sexual misconduct and racial prejudice in our space," pending a probationary period. More recently, content creator Mitch Jones accused Rinaudo of physically assaulting him in late 2023. So far, no disciplinary action has come of that.

While a typical stream from Rinaudo is not laden with controversy – he mostly just plays video games, talks shit, and interacts with other OTK members – part of the broader appeal of this corner of the streaming ecosystem is the mess. It’s long-form reality TV, and people only begin to balk when things get a little too real, when they’re reminded that the actions of their faves – incentivized by platforms and thrill-seeking viewers to behave irresponsibly on (and off) camera – have actual human consequences. 

In terms of personnel, OTK’s lineage traces back to Twitch’s earlier, edgelordier days, prior to growing mainstream acceptance as a result of the Amazon acquisition and, later, the Fortnite boom, which came with ad deals and brand safety concerns. OTK in particular straddles an awkward line, attempting to professionalize and host events around streamers, some of whom have checkered pasts and, if they were just getting started now, would likely default to Kick, not the comparatively-sanitized Twitch. There is, as a result, an appeal to somebody like Rinaudo, who’s almost edgy enough for Kick or Rumble, but savvy enough to know when to rein it in. A subset of Twitch viewers is all about This Kind Of Guy. In their eyes, he’s more real than other Twitch streamers, who are engaged in transparent branding exercises, when in reality he’s just engaged in a different kind of branding exercise, the kind that allows him to be edgy by Twitch standards while not getting banned from Twitch. 

That, in turn, pairs perfectly with MMA, which is a sport made up almost entirely of This Kind Of Guy, some of whom – like 135-lb champion Sean O’Malley – spend a lot of their free time streaming on Twitch. The modern UFC is full of fighters who love to act edgy, individualistic, and tough while also emphasizing, over and over, that they are compliant Company Men who will fight whenever and wherever the boss, UFC president Dana White, desires. This is by design. To fulfill its lucrative $1.5 billion ESPN broadcast deal, the UFC has to put on events at a breakneck pace, which means that the schedule is king. If fighters drop out of scheduled fights (for example, due to injury) or try to haggle for a timeframe that better suits their needs, they get punished with worse matchmaking, decreased promotion, or more time on the sidelines. Your best bet, then, is to suck up to the boss and the system while otherwise building your own brand as a man’s man in a lawless land (read: one ruthlessly controlled by capitalism).

The tradeoff is that the UFC turns a blind eye to all sorts of inappropriate behavior on the part of its fighters, including sexism, racism, homophobia, and – you guessed it – assault. In this sense, the UFC is actually kind of on an opposite trajectory compared to Twitch. In the early 2010s, the organization was desperate for legitimacy in the eyes of the sports world, attempting to shed the remains of its – as late senator John McCain put it in 1996 – “human cockfighting” image once and for all. As a result, the UFC, which had no shortage of unsanctioned brawls in its early days, briefly enforced something resembling a code of conduct, albeit inconsistently. In 2010, it perma-banned British fighter Paul Daley for angrily striking opponent Josh Koscheck after the end of a match in which Daley was wrestled to the ground for three rounds. In 2013, it suspended then-burgeoning star Nate Diaz for tweeting a gay slur

But after securing certain trappings of mainstream acceptance – a uniform deal with Reebok, the aforementioned ESPN deal – UFC brass realized they just… didn’t need to police fighter behavior anymore. In fact, there was more money in branding themselves as an alternative and, relatedly, as the one true MAGA sport, especially once the pandemic rolled around and other sports took a more cautious approach to live events. This arose out of promotional convenience just as much as it did politics. It’s very easy to sell a fight, for example, when one of your guys is screaming at the other about how, if this was a different time, his people would kill and enslave their people, or in another instance, seeking out an opponent before a scheduled fight to hurl a dolly through the window of a bus they were seated on, shattering glass and slicing up innocent bystanders. 

The latter incident preceded a 2019 brawl not unlike the one at Rinaudo’s event, neither the first nor last of its kind in the UFC. Unlike Daley, who was ejected from the UFC forever after throwing a single post-fight punch, the fighter who kicked off the 2019 brawl – now-retired mega star Khabib Nurmagomedov – faced little in the way of consequences from the UFC, nor did his opponent, Conor McGregor, for whom dolly-throwing now somehow ranks among the least of his crimes. Both the bus incident and the brawl were used in future UFC promotional videos. These days, when UFC stars step out of line – whether that means nearly getting into fights on weigh-in scales, having weird racially-motivated in-cage confrontations, or threatening drug testers – White, who faced no meaningful consequences for publicly slapping his own wife in early 2023, just shrugs it off.  

All of which brings us back to the in-cage melee at Rinaudo’s event over the weekend. Compared to some of the big leagues’ more notorious brawls, it was a pretty tame affair. A couple of the many staff members and teammates of fighters in the cage threatened to throw punches, but mostly they just worked to separate fighters from one another. The whole thing was over after just a minute or so. Rinaudo later said that the fighter who kicked it off was “suspended from fighting for 6 months.”

It’s not clear what he meant by that. Is the fighter suspended only from Rinaudo’s organization, or did a state athletic commission – the body which usually sanctions these sorts of events and metes out fines and suspensions as needed – hand down the order, which would prevent the fighter from competing in other organizations as well? In any case, you need only look at viewership numbers, which peaked at over 100,000 concurrents across all platforms, and listen to commentators to learn how people actually felt about this moment.  

“Let’s go! Let’s go!” shouted one commentator excitedly when the scuffle began, as an in-person audience began to hoot and holler. Twitch chat, meanwhile, filled with messages like “DRAMA” and “OOOOOOO.”

"Take it easy. Take it easy,” cautioned another commentator. “We ain't gotta go there. We ain't gotta take it there."  

"For the sake of viewership, they have to take it there," retorted a third.

This is neither shocking nor particularly revealing. At best, it’s instructive. In 2024 – a year in which YouTuber-turned-celebrity-boxer Jake Paul will fight a nearly 60-year-old Mike Tyson, probably, at some point – this is the show. Fights are not just fights; they are settings, scaffoldings that hold up months of online drama both before and after. Paul and his brother Logan, not coincidentally, were among the first to maximize that side of the business, but the UFC had already spent decades blazing a trashy trail before either Paul brother ever stepped foot in a ring. Where once in-cage brawls – or exposed dicks, or discriminatory language, or assault scandals – might have seemed shocking, now they’re just part of the daily tapestry of both combat sports and content creation. They happen, they generate some wacky headlines, and then everybody moves on to the next drama.

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