Simmons- MMA Fighter of the Year


What was the funniest article of 2004. This one of course!

PHOENIX (Reuters) - Flamboyant fitness guru Richard Simmons was cited by authorities for allegedly slapping a man in an airport who was poking fun at his exercise videos, police said on Thursday.

Simmons, 55, known for his tank tops, curly hair and exuberant demeanor, was ticketed for misdemeanor assault after allegedly striking the man across the face while in line at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport on Wednesday night, police said.

"He apparently said, 'Hey everybody, it's Richard Simmons, let's drop our bags and rock to the '50s,"' said Sgt. Lauri Williams, a reference to a series of Simmons's well-known videos. "Mr. Simmons took offense and said he had to 'bitch slap' him."

The victim, whose name was not immediately available, was described by police as a burly man known to compete in the spectator sport of cage fighting, otherwise known as mixed martial arts. He told authorities that he wanted to press charges against Simmons.

Police said Simmons cooperated fully with officers at the scene and later was allowed to board a plan to Los Angeles. Police earlier said he had boarded a Las Vegas-bound flight.

There was no immediate comment from Simmons' Los Angeles-based manager.

Here was some of your comments on the Forums...after we orginially aired the story....

"I heard that Simmons thought the harley dude would only fight under Pancrase rules hence the open hand slap. If this had been under mma rules he would have been laid out by Richard's limp wristed cross. If I was the Harley guy though I would take solace in the fact that thank God the fight did not go to the ground!" - KungFuJoe

"With news of Richard's striking ability, look for Pride to sign him against Vanderlei in next year's Grand Prix...." - JHR

"Tito was then heard explaining to the police that he was wearing dress shoes during the incident..."