Isaac Vallie-Flagg was driving across the mesa outside Rio Rancho, New Mexico when the lights of a police cruiser started flickering in his rear-view mirror. The former UFC and Strikeforce fighter was pulled over for driving with tags that didn’t match his vehicle, and minutes later, was arrested for a number of far more serious charges.
That was on January 18, 2018. Now, just over a year removed from that fateful day on the mesa, Vallie-Flagg feels as though he might not be alive had he not been arrested, as it was this arrest that drove him to make his latest and hopefully final attempt to stop using heroin, meth, and pretty much anything else he could get his hands on.
“I got caught for theft of identity, possession of a controlled substance other than marijuana, which was the meth and the heroin, some different gun charges,” Vallie-Flagg told me, opening up on his struggles with addiction. “I had a short-barreled rifle that I wasn’t supposed to have. I made a silencer for it, which could have gone federal as a crime. I had another gun with me. The rifle and the handgun were mine, the thing that made it bad was that I had drugs with me also. You’re not allowed to have guns and drugs together — surprise, surprise. Then I also had charges for possession of burglary tools… commercial burglary.