On Aug. 3, 1999, 19-year-old Karam Hussein Jabbar was found dead in the trunk of his car; limbs bound and with a bag over his head. Among the suspects was professional mixed martial artist Homer Moore, an up-and-coming fighter who would make his UFC debut two years later.
Moore was questioned by Tempe, Ariz. police shortly after but insufficient evidence left him a free man. It would take 15 years and multiple witness statements’ for investigators to gather enough evidence, but their perseverance paid off Monday.
Tempe police and U.S. Marshalls arrested Moore on first-degree murder charges and set bail at $1 million. The former light heavyweight donned an Ultimate Fighter t-shirt upon his capture, though he isn’t affiliated with the UFC.
According to AZCentral.com, Moore and a group of unknown accomplices planned to rob Jabbar; a known drug dealer. Moore allegedly murdered Jabbar, stuffed his body in the car’s trunk, and left him in a Fry’s market parking lot.
Moore would compete at a Rage in the Cage event three months later. He would defeat Jesus Valdez on his way to an 11-0 MMA record. Zuffa took notice and gave him a shot at future middleweight champion Evan Tanner at UFC 34.
Tanner defeated Moore via second-round armbar en route to becoming one of the promotion’s most recognizable figures in the mid-00s. Meanwhile, Moore would fight notable names like Chael Sonnen and Dan Severn in various independent promotions, but never found his way back to the Octagon.
The-42-year-old’s last fight — a loss to Vincent Lawler last month — likely ends a career that began around the time of Jabbar’s death. Over time, Moore has regaled bar patrons about a murder he committed.
They would in turn notify police to the point that the Maricopa County Attorney’s office found cause to reopen the case. This led to Moore’s arrest outside a local community college.
The investigation is ongoing as police search for Moore’s accomplices.