UFC and EliteXC veteran Justin Eilers has died as a result of a gunshot wound suffered late Thursday night according to his manager, Monte Cox.
Cox informed MMAjunkie.com (UFC blog for UFC news, UFC rumors, fighter interviews and event previews/recaps | MMAjunkie.com
) of Eilers' death on Friday afternoon.
James Robert Malec, a family acquaintance identified as the boyfriend of Eilers' mother by sources close to the famly, was taken into custody by sheriff's officers in Canyon County, Idaho. He's been charged with second-degree murder.
According to a report from KTRV, officers were dispatched to the Nampa, Idaho residence at approximately 10:45 p.m. MT after reports of a domestic dispute. An unidentified man, later determined to be Eilers, was found with a gunshot wound. Attempts to save Eilers were unsuccessful.
MMAjunkie.com could not immediately reach the Canyon County Sheriff's Department for comment.
Eilers was 30 years old.
Eilers (19-7-1) was most recently seen in action in an EliteXC heavyweight title fight with Antonio Silva in July. Although at a severe size disadvantage, Eilers fought valiantly in the first round before succumbing to his adversary's onslaught in the second frame.
While the bout marked Eilers' first appearance in the public eye in several years, many will remember Eilers as a four-time veteran of the UFC. That stint from 2004-2006 included a UFC heavyweight title fight at UFC 53 with then-champion Andrei Arlovski. Eilers came up short in the effort, suffering a first-round knockout.
Following his loss to Silva in July, Eilers said in the evening's post-event press conference that he was looking at a drop to 205 pounds. Eilers won 10 of his final 12 contests.
An investigation of the incident is still ongoing, and the full details of the event have not yet been released by the Canyon County Sheriff's Department.
Bruce "PhyteGuru" Huckfeldt contributed to this report.