Mullin's failed Afghanistan mission the latest episode in cage-fighting congressman's colorful history

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Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-Okla., tried to rescue Americans stuck in Afghanistan — his mission was unsuccessful, but he said the efforts will continue. Mullin, quite literally, has always been a fighter.

The congressman now serving his fifth term representing Oklahoma’s second district was a professional mixed martial arts fighter. He competed in five bouts, according to his bio on his official House website, and he won them all. 

According to, Mullin’s career included three fights with the Xtreme Fighting League over 2006 and 2007. He won two via submission and one via technical knockout.

The training and experience Mullin went through was then channeled in his congressional career when he and Rep. Don Payne Jr., D-N.J., started the bipartisan Congressional Men’s Health Caucus. He also formed a training group for members of both parties to wake up early and engage in rigorous exercise programs.

“Typically we’ll have anywhere from 10-14 people every single morning, it’s a way for us to talk, but we don’t talk politics either — it’s a bonding process, and it’s us feeling healthy,” Mullin said about the group in a 2015 feature by The Hill. “We can perform our jobs better when we feel good about ourselves.”

Mullin’s readiness to fight and his dedication to Congress led him to take an active role in trying to protect the House chamber when protesters stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6. In a Politico interview, he recalled how he and others helped officers defend the chamber, engaging in a confrontation with rioters.

Rep. Markwayne Mullin, R-Okla., asks questions during a House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health hearing to discuss protecting scientific integrity in response to a COVID-19 outbreak on Capitol Hill in Washington, May 14, 2020.  
(Greg Nash/Pool via REUTERS)

The congressman helped barricade the door leading to Statuary Hall and broke wooden hand sanitizer stations so that he and Rep. Troy Nehls, R-Texas, could use the pieces as weapons if they had to.

Mullin said that when one protester yelled, “This is our House. This is our House. And we’re taking our House back,” he replied, “This is our House, too. That is not going to happen.”

Mullin is now fighting against the Biden administration’s failure to evacuate every American from Afghanistan before U.S. troops completed their withdrawal from the country.

“America needed leadership and all Biden gave us was lies,” he tweeted Monday. “He turned his back on Americans and our allies still stranded in Afghanistan. What happened to no man left behind? This administration should be held accountable for this complete and utter failure.”

Mullin attempted to enter Afghanistan twice in the recent days, according to The Washington Post. He traveled to Greece last week and asked permission to enter the besieged country, but the Pentagon denied his request.

A few days later he reportedly landed in Tajikistan en route to Afghanistan and ran into trouble at the U.S. embassy there when trying to get a large sum of cash into the country.

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