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MMA fighter faces murder bid trial


Jonathan Paul Koppenhaver, also known as War Machine, appears in court in Las Vegas. (AP)

Jonathan Paul Koppenhaver, also known as War Machine, appears in court in Las Vegas. (AP)

Jonathan Paul Koppenhaver, also known as War Machine, appears in court in Las Vegas. (AP)

A mixed martial arts fighter who changed his name to War Machine has been ordered to stand trial on 34 charges including attempted murder, sexual assault and kidnapping for allegedly attacking his porn star ex-girlfriend and her friend.

Jonathan Paul Koppenhaver's leg shackles rattled as he sat while his ex-girlfriend, Christy Mack, said she feared he was fetching a knife to finish her off when she ran bleeding and naked from her house and knocked on neighbours' doors for help early on August 8.

Mack told the court she remembered tasting blood when she came to on the floor of the running shower, then a kick in the abdomen sent her back to the bathroom floor when she tried to get to her feet.

"I couldn't breathe," she said. "I don't remember getting out of the shower. I just remember being on the floor. Naked on the floor. Cold."

Mack sobbed as she viewed photos of her injuries including a broken nose, missing teeth, fractured eye socket, leg injuries and a lacerated liver. She said she had cut marks on her head, and remembered Koppenhaver inserting a knife in her ear and threatening to kill her.

The knife broke as Koppenhaver cut her hair and wigs, she said. She said she decided to flee when she heard him in the kitchen of the house in Las Vegas, rummaging through drawers for another knife.

"I shudder to think what would have happened had she not escaped," Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Melanie Andress-Tobiasson said.

The judge added two new charges to 32 previously lodged against Koppenhaver and bound him over for trial on charges also including coercion, burglary, attempted sexual assault, preventing or dissuading a witness or victim from reporting a crime and strangulation.

Koppenhaver did not testify. Defence lawyer Brandon Sua said he will plead not guilty at his arraignment on Thursday in Clark County District Court.

One new charge, sexual assault, alleges Koppenhaver raped Mack one more time than previously alleged.

The other, felony battery causing substantial bodily harm, stemmed from his alleged attack on Corey Thomas, a computer shop owner who was staying the night at Mack's house when Koppenhaver let himself in with a key, and found them in her bedroom.

The judge also heard muffled sounds of a struggle and screams recorded after Mack dialled police and left the phone line open. Mack said Koppenhaver was attacking Thomas at the time.

"Jon. Stop! Please stop!" a woman's voice says.

Koppenhaver, who also has acted in porn productions, was arrested on August 15 at a hotel in the Los Angeles suburb of Simi Valley. He was dropped by his fight promoter, Bellator MMA, after Mack's accusations were made public.

He made his Ultimate Fighting Championship debut in 2007 and lost his only pay-per-view bout in 2008. He had a 14-5 record as a welterweight and last fought in October last year.