Biggest Brawls in Las Vegas History: Sinatra, Tupac, Kamara, Vanderpump
Posted on: March 30, 2023, 05:05h.
Last updated on: April 4, 2023, 04:39h.
Not everyone who ends up coming to Las Vegas for a good time ends up having one. With alcohol and hormones flowing so freely, rage inevitably follows.
Inspired by the recent melee allegedly involving NFL stars Alvin Kamara and Chris Lammons, we compiled this list of the Top 5 most infamous brawls ever to erupt in Las Vegas — that we know of.
5. Two NFL Players vs. Soon-to-be-Rich Bystander
Surveillance video taken on Feb. 5 inside the Cromwell Hotel and Casino shows New Orleans Saints running back Alvin Kamara and his friends punching and kicking a man repeatedly.
The victim, Darnelle Greene, alleges he was attacked after Kamara denied him entry to an elevator headed to Dai’s After Hours nightclub on the hotel’s roof.
Based on surveillance video, police allege that Kamara punched Greene eight times, while Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Chris Lammons punched him once and kicked him three times, and two other men kicked him a total of 20 more times.
According to a $10M civil suit filed by Greene in a Louisiana court, his beatdown caused injuries to his neck, back, head, shoulder, knees, and face, including “a disfiguring facial fracture to” his right orbital bone.
There were also criminal charges for all four men arrested following the 2022 Pro Bowl game. Charged with felony battery resulting in substantial bodily harm, each could face five years in prison if convicted.
Kamara has claimed Greene punched him as Kamara attempted to flee, according to a police report quoted by the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Kamara’s trial is set for July 31, which conflicts with the Saints training camp.
4. ‘Vanderpump Rules’ Chunky Sweater Melee
This one wouldn’t make a list of serious Las Vegas brawls. It was silly and probably staged for the cameras. But this is a list of famous fights, and boy, is this one famous.
Mention the words “chunky sweater,” and any “Bravoholic” immediately gets the reference.
Featured on the first season of former “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star Lisa Vanderpump’s spinoff reality show, “Vanderpump Rules,” the so-called melee erupted outside Las Vegas’ Marrakech Restaurant. Show co-star Stassi Schroeder had been celebrating her 24th birthday there — with her fellow co-workers from Vanderpump’s SUR (Sexy Unique Restaurant) — in 2013.
But the festivities were crashed by Jax Taylor, SUR’s bartender and the show’s token bad guy. The birthday girl had recently dumped Taylor (whose real name is Jason Michael Cauchi) after discovering that he had impregnated another woman.
In Marrakech’s parking lot, Taylor is shown stomping after Frank Herlihy, another SUR bartender and Schroeder’s current flame, yelling insults and threatening violence. To demonstrate how much business he means, Taylor throws his sweater — a chunky white cable-knit number — to the pavement to reveal rock-hard abs.
“You want to go, mother****er?” Taylor yells. “Let’s go!”
In a series of quick cuts, Herlihy is then shown lifting Taylor off the ground to prevent any punches from being thrown and then escaping in the back of a cab that wasn’t even in the previous scene.
Taylor later auctioned off the sweater and threatened to start his own line of chunky sweaters, which never materialized.
3. Tupac Shakur vs. His Suspected Killer
History primarily remembers the Sept. 7, 1996 fight between Mike Tyson and Bruce Seldon for the tragic events afterward.
Two months earlier, an entourage led by Orlando Anderson, a member of the Crips street gang, had assaulted Trevon Lane, a close friend of Death Row Records co-founder Suge Knight and a member of the rival Bloods street gang. During the assault, Anderson allegedly stole a Death Row Records medallion given to Lane by Knight.
Following the Tyson-Seldon fight, Lane spotted Anderson in the slowly exiting crowd. Lane pointed him out to the other four members of the Death Row entourage — including Knight and the label’s rap superstar, Tupac Shakur. In the security camera footage, Shakur throws the first punch of the brutal group beatdown.
Three hours later, Knight stopped his BMW at a light at East Flamingo Road and Koval Lane intersection with Shakur in the passenger seat. A white Cadillac pulled up to the right of the BMW. From its back seat, rapid gunshots were fired from a .40 S&W Glock 22 into the car. Shakur, hit four times, died of his injuries at a nearby hospital.
Anderson, whom LA police still consider the prime suspect in Shakur’s murder, was killed in an unrelated gang shootout on May 29, 1998.
2. Frank Sinatra Punched Out
Frank Sinatra’s notorious temper was in full effect on Sept. 9, 1967, when the Sands Hotel — upon orders from new owner Howard Hughes — cut off the famous crooner’s casino credit and informed him he could no longer gamble unless he paid back the $200K he already owed.
The world’s most famous pair of blue eyes turned red. Sinatra canceled his engagement later that evening at the Sands’ Copa Room, trashed his hotel penthouse, screamed at pit bosses, and shoved a loaded baggage cart into a plate-glass window shattering it.
According to witness Paul Anka, Sinatra also stood on a blackjack table and screamed at the top of his lungs: “This place was sand when they built it, and it’ll be sand when I’m f***ing done with it!”
Two days later, Sinatra returned to the scene of his mounting crimes at 5:45 a.m. This time, he demanded a personal audience with the resort’s vice president, Carl Cohen. Cohen was awakened and suggested to Sinatra that they meet in the Sands’ coffee chop. Here, according to witnesses, Sinatra subjected Cohen to a stream of verbal unpleasantries — including an anti-Semitic slur.
Sinatra upended their dining table to punctuate his tirade, spilling a full pot of steaming coffee onto Cohen.
Cohen delivered one well-deserved roundhouse punch to Sinatra’s mouth. In response, a stunned Sinatra threw a chair at Cohen, but Cohen ducked, hitting a security guard instead.
An initial Palm Springs’ Desert Sun newspaper report claimed that Cohen’s punch knocked out two of Sinatra’s teeth. But Sinatra’s personal dentist, Dr. Abe Weinstein, said it only dislodged the caps glued onto them.
A bleeding Sinatra was allowed to leave — because he was, after all, still Frank Sinatra. That same day, he entered into a three-year contract to entertain exclusively at Caesars Palace and never stepped foot in the Sands again.
1. The Bite Fight
By far, the most infamous fight in Vegas history occurred during what was supposed to be a rematch between Mike Tyson and Evander Holyfield for the World Boxing Association Heavyweight Championship. Holyfield scored the title in an upset victory against Tyson on November 9, 1996.
A fiasco took place instead on June 28, 1997, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Holyfield won the first three rounds, but Tyson fought back. Thirty-two seconds into the second round, Holyfield ducked a right punch from Tyson and ended up head-butting Tyson in the process. This produced a large gash over Tyson’s right eye and rage like you would not believe.
Tyson had repeatedly complained about illegal headbutting from Holyfield during their first match, but the referee ruled all instances unintentional.
With 40 seconds remaining in Round 3, Holyfield got Tyson in a clinch, wrapping his arms around Tyson’s to immobilize them. In response, Tyson sank his teeth into Holyfield’s right ear, tearing off an inch-long chunk of cartilage and spitting it into the ring. Holyfield leaped into the air in pain, bleeding profusely from his wound.
Remarkably, the fight was allowed to continue. The ringside doctor stopped the bleeding and declared Holyfield fit to continue. After consulting with the chair of the Nevada Athletic Commission, who was in the crowd, referee Mills Lane gave the green light with Tyson penalized two points.
However, during another clinch, Tyson bit into Holyfield’s other ear. (!!) The second bite, which didn’t remove any flesh, wasn’t discovered by Lane until after the round ended. At that point, he stopped the fight for good.
Tyson was disqualified, and Holyfield was declared the still-reigning world champ. But the repercussions didn’t stop there. The state athletic commission revoked Tyson’s boxing license and fined him $3M plus legal fees. (On appeal, the commission voted 4-1 to reinstate Tyson’s license on Oct. 18, 1998.)
Since then, Tyson and Holyfield have become good friends. Last year, they teamed up to produce edible cannabis candies in the shape of Holyfield’s ear, called Holy Ears.
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Last Comment ( 1 )
According to witness Paul Anka, Sinatra also stood on a blackjack table and screamed, at the top of his lungs: “This place was sand when they built it and it’ll be sand when I’m f***ing done with it!” That's funny!