So the medical examiner’s ruling on Sammy Vasquez’s passing has finally come out, and it looks like MMA was indeed the cause of death for this guy:
The 35-year-old Vasquez passed away Nov. 30 after being knocked out by San Antonio’s Vince Libardi in the third round of a Renegades Extreme Fighting bout Oct. 20 at Toyota Center in Houston. After being hospitalized, Vasquez suffered a stroke, endured two surgeries to remove blood clots in his brain and spent weeks in intensive care.
The official ruling from the medical examiner’s office stated that Vasquez died of “complications from blunt trauma to the head with subdural hemorrhage.”
I know everyone was kinda hoping that the autopsy would find something there that would ‘clear’ MMA of direct responsibility in the death. When Douglas Dedge died in Russia, people were able to point to all the hardcore blinking red warning lights leading up to the incident: Dedge’s fainting spells during training, his inability to get licensed in America. But with Sammy Vasquez, there was nothing ‘wrong’ with what happened. His training went fine. He was cleared as fit and healthy. After losing the fight he received immediate medical attention. But somehow he still died.
There’s still a chance that the full autopsy report might contain some small mitigating factors: anti-inflammatory drugs make the brain more likely to bleed from trauma and cause the kind of hemorrhage that Vasquez had. But at this point I think people really need to accept the fact that yes … MMA is dangerous, and yes … you could die doing it, even if you’re perfectly healthy and if all the safety precautions are taken.