MMAer Beats Critic Over Bad Restaurant Review?

Jerry “The Punching Bag” Spiegel (seriously, that’s his nickname) has a 11-24-1 record in MMA, but he finally found an opponent he could beat: an older, out-of-shape restaurant critic, and all it took was a two-on-one ambush in a parking lot to do it.

Jerry Spiegel and Steve Barnes

The “fighter” (and judging from his record, that’s a generous description) was arrested and charged with assault for a brutal beating of Steve Barnes, a food writer for the ALBANY TIMES-UNION. It appears that Spiegel — or someone who contracted his services — took issue with one of Barnes’s negative reviews.


Police doubt it was a random attack, because witnesses saw Spiegel and another man waiting in the parking lot outside a restaurant for hours before the attack. Barnes had written on his blog that he would be there that night.

According to Barnes’s blog post on the night in question, he and a friend were approached by two men who began throwing punches without speaking. He was driven to the ground and pounded some more, before the assailants ran off.

The police’s working theory is that the assault was in retaliation for a poor restaurant review, and are investigating links between Spiegel and anyone who would have been offended by one of Barnes’s articles.

Though bruised, Barnes scored a sudden TKO with this line:

“If I’m supposed to be nicer to somebody in the future, drop me an e-mail. Otherwise you’re just a coward. Black eyes fade, but cowardice and thuggery are permanent character flaws.”

For your viewing enjoyment, here’s Spiegel getting the crap kicked out of him:

Jerry Spiegel