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Ex-MMA Fighter Travis Fulton Dies by Suicide After Guilty Plea to Child Pornography Charges

Travis Fulton, a former MMA fighter who set a record for career professional fights, was found unresponsive in his Linn County Jail cell in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Saturday morning during a routine cell check. He was transported to Mercy Medical Center where he was pronounced dead, Linn County Sheriff’s Office said. Investigators believe Fulton died by suicide by hanging himself. 

Fulton was found at approximately 4 a.m. local time, and CPR was attempted but not successful. 

Fulton, 44, was held in Linn County Jail since Feb. 19 when he was arrested by the U.S. Marshals Service and initially indicted for enticing a girl under the age of 18 to engage in sexual behavior, according to The Gazette. A second underage female victim was later identified as well.

The day before he was found unresponsive, Fulton pleaded guilty to sexual exploitation of a child and possession of child pornography charges, which stemmed from photos found on a flash drive. 

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In 2013, Fulton was accused of getting a 13-year-old girl to perform in meditation with him and removing her clothes except for her underwear, according to court records obtained by The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier. He allegedly performed a sex act after placing her in a trance, per the report

Fulton admitted to the meditation but denied the sexual act and added he's been accused of rape in the past "because people know who he is."

Fulton also was awaiting the outcome of charges from a Sept. 2019 incident in which he was accused of repeatedly punching a woman in the head and threatening to kill her.

The death is under investigation and an autopsy will be performed.

Fulton holds the MMA record for career professional fights with 320, including two UFC bouts, since he started his career in 1996.