SANTA ANA, Calif. (CN) – Mixed martial arts champion and actor Michael Bisping has been hit with a lawsuit by a man who says Bisping placed him in a stranglehold during a gym ruckus that elicited a response from local law enforcement.
Antonio Georgakopoulos sued Bisping, 38, in Orange County Superior Court on Oct. 23. The court made the lawsuit available to the public a day later, on Tuesday.
Represented by Gavril Gabriel of Downey, California, Georgakopoulos seeks damages, attorney fees and costs on claims of assault, battery and others.
Nicknamed “The Count,” Bisping is a current UFC middleweight champion and practices boxing, kickboxing, karate and jiu-jitsu. The British national is scheduled to defend his title against Georges St. Pierre on Nov. 4 at Madison Square Garden in New York.
In the lawsuit, Georgakopoulos says he was with a friend at a 24 Hour Fitness in Anaheim Hills when Bisping confronted them for moving his weights.
Bisping called the plaintiff a “punk” and “idiot” and told him “you don’t know who I am,” according to the complaint.
“At some point, Bisping became physically violent by fully extending his right arm to grab plaintiff by the throat and proceeded to squeeze plaintiff’s neck for two to three seconds not allowing plaintiff to move or breath. Plaintiff feared that he was going to lose consciousness. Luckily, a larger man than Bisping intervened and pulled Bisping away from plaintiff before plaintiff lost his consciousness,” Georgakopoulos says in the complaint.
Georgakopoulos says that 24 Hour Fitness’ staff had to separate the two men after a crowd gathered around them. He claims the Anaheim Police Department issued a private-persons arrest form for assault and battery and that he suffered “intense throat pain” after the alleged attack.
“Plaintiff has also seen otolaryngologist who has performed an examination and recommended treatment as a result of the injuries suffered by plaintiff at the hands of Bisping. Plaintiff has also had nightmares, difficulty sleeping and anxiety as a result of Bisping’s actions,” Georgakopoulos says in his lawsuit.
In addition to Bisping, the complaint names Ultimate Fighting Championship, Zuffa LLC, William Morris Endeavor Entertainment, and 24 Hour Fitness.
Bisping’s attorneys at Bloom Hergott Diemer Rosenthal declined to comment and referred Courthouse News to Bisping’s manager Audie Attar at Paradigm Sports Management. He could not immediately be reached for comment.
Courthouse News has also reached out to Georgakopoulos’ lawyer for comment.