MMA Stories

Joe Son – Where is he now?

Joseph Hyungmin Son (born November 22, 1970) is a South Korean-born American convicted felon and a former MMA fighter and actor best known for his role in the 1997 blockbuster movie Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery as Random Task.

Son was a mixed martial arts fighter and retired with a record of 0–4. Though he had appeared before in Ultimate Fighting Championship’s UFC 3 as Kimo Leopoldo’s cornerman, Son had his proper debut at the UFC 4 event, entering the tournament billed as a taekwondo black belt and founder of a style called “Jo Son Do”. He was pitted against Kenpo fighter Keith Hackney, whom Son outweighed by 30 pounds. Son was able to perform a takedown and a guillotine choke attempt, but Hackney countered by punching Son’s groin repeatedly, which was legal under the rules of the event.[5] Keith then performed a blood choke with his fingers and Son tapped out, being eliminated from the tournament.

After his fight in UFC, he completed a match for the K-1 kickboxing federation, facing established star Nobuaki Kakuda. The much heavier Son initially led the pace with body shots and knees, scoring a mild knockdown by a right hook, but he was eventually knocked out by Kakuda via high kick and punches.

In 2002, Son debuted for Japanese promotion PRIDE Fighting Championships, fighting Takada Dojo exponent Yusuke Imamura at the PRIDE The Best Vol.2. He infamously wore a leopard thong with the PRIDE logo and sported eye makeup, as well as a bowler hat at his entrance, and hugged Imamura during the staredown. The bout was short, and Son quit after he was taken down and almost slid out the ring, claiming an elbow injury.

On April 12, 2002, Son also took part in Xtreme Pankration 2, wherein he faced Joe Moreira. After a brief exchange of strikes, Moreira landed a hit which drew blood, and Son then refused to continue fighting, being called the bell. The result was officially played as “submission (terror)”.  Son would return to PRIDE in July, facing Jukei Nakajima, and he once again gave up after being injured by being thrown on his head by the Japanese fighter.

Son was also a professional wrestler in Japan for a short time, wrestling Shinya Hashimoto at the WRESTLE-1 event and working as singer and dancer for HUSTLE’s third event.

Where is he now?

In October 2008, Son was charged by California authorities in relation to his participation in a 1990 gang rape. He was initially charged in Orange County, California, with five counts of rape, two felony counts of forcible sodomy, two felony counts of sodomy in concert by force, seven felony counts of forcible oral copulation, and one felony count of sexual penetration by foreign object by force. He faced a maximum sentence of 275 years to life if convicted.

In October 2011, Son was accused of killing his cellmate, Michael Thomas Graham, a convicted sex offender. The murder happened on October 10, 2011, on “B” Yard Reception, building 5 at Wasco State Prison. The beating occurred at 5:25 PM and Graham died 25 minutes later. After the murder occurred, Son was moved to solitary confinement. On September 13, 2013, Son was officially charged with Graham’s murder. At his trial in 2017, he was found guilty of voluntary manslaughter and received a 27-year sentence.

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