Amateur Fighter Dies Following Unregulated MMA Bout in Michigan
A 35-year-old amateur fighter is dead following his MMA debut in
Michigan, according to a report from Sportsnet.ca.
Heavyweight competitor and Ontario resident Felix Pablo Elochukwu
passed away after competing Friday night under the Amateur Fighting
Club banner in Port Huron, Mich., according to the report.
Elochukwu, a native Nigerian who moved to Canada in 2012, was
reportedly mounted in the third round of his bout and sustained
strikes that prompted the referee to wave off the contest.
Though Elochukwu appeared to be OK as the result of the bout was
announced, his condition apparently deteriorated backstage.
According to the report, Elochukwu was treated by paramedics after
falling off a chair and was then taken to a local hospital. The
fighter’s cause of death is currently unknown, though an autopsy
was reportedly performed on Sunday, according to MMAJunkie.com.
The AFC Sunday released a statement concerning the matter on its
“[At] last night's event, [on] April 6, we lost a member of our MMA
family, and we would like to take this time to honor him. This is a
tragic turn of events. We will keep his family and friends in our
prayers and we ask you to do the same. May God be with them in this
devastating time of loss. To us, this tragedy will not end today.
He will remain in our hearts and on our minds. Further information
will be posted at a later time.”
While professional MMA is conducted under the supervision of the
Michigan Unarmed Combat Commission, amateur MMA remains unregulated
in the state. The Association of Boxing Commissions previously
asked its members not to license fighters hailing from the state as
a safety precaution due to concerns over regulation practices at
both the amateur and professional level. A bill to regulate amateur
mixed martial arts in the state was introduced into the Michigan
House of Representatives on Jan. 31 and was placed on a third
reading on March 20.
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