While digging around for pictures, gifs, and other various post-UFC 150 detrius, I started hearing chatter about a potential death at an MMA show in South Carolina. The next morning it was confirmed: Amateur fighter Tyrone Mims was taken to the hospital shortly after his fight and pronounced dead on arrival. Via Sherdog:
Mims was part of an online reality series called Georgia Boys Grits-n-Glory, which partnered with the event promoters to produce Saturday’s online stream.
“One of the fighters, who happened to be our own Tyrone ‘Teesta’ Mims, was fatally injured tonight, possibly as a result of his fight,” read a statement on the Georgia Boys Grits-n-Glory Facebook page. “The promoters and the South Carolina Fight Commission consulted with the fighters and all involved and decided as a result of the death of one of their own we should call off the rest of the fights. The promoters and the Athletic Commission did everything in their power according to protocol and this accident was beyond their control. We apologize for the inconvenience and hope you’ll understand as we deal with the gravity of the situation. Our thoughts and prayers are with ‘Teesta’ and his immediate family, which include his five children. We will do anything in our power to assist his family in their time of need and ask all of our fans for their prayers and support.”
It was the second death for a fighter following an MMA bout in South Carolina. In 2010, amateur fighter Michael Kirkham died from a brain hemorrhage after a knockout loss at Dash Entertainment/King MMA “Confrontation at the Convocation Center” in Aiken, S.C.
Kirkham was a 6’9 lightweight and many wondered if his unique phisiology didn’t have something to do with his death. This is also the second MMA-related death in the past few months. Dustin Jenson died after an MMA bout in South Dakota just two months ago, and while the autopsy revealed it wasn’t his final fight that killed him, the fight was his fourth in four months.
Tragic news, and still pretty infrequent. The total number of deaths in MMA is still under 10, with deaths during sanctioned events sitting at 2. But as MMA explodes and more and more people take part in it at the lower levels, we’re liable to see more stories like this. With some of the insane beatings, terrible stoppages, and awful commissions we’ve seen, I’m often amazed there isn’t a much larger body count.