With Sean Strickland going off about killing someone in a sanctioned bout this week, it's time to reflect on instances where fighters actually lost their lives in MMA. There's been 7 recorded deaths from sanctioned MMA fights, and more from non sanctioned. Professional boxing has had 923 deaths from 1890 - 2007.
October 20th 2007, Sammy Vasquez at 35 years old was competing in Renegades Extreme. Sammy lost the fight via 3rd round knockout. He lost consciousness shortly after the fight and was rushed to the hospital where he underwent multiple surgeries for a subdural hemorrhage. He died November 30th from that fights injury.
Micheal K Kirkham was 30 years old competing at Dash Entertainment's King MMA, on June 26th 2010. 41 seconds into the first match, the referee called for stoppage with Michael on the ground unable to defend against head strikes. Michael lost consciousness shortly after the fight was stopped, and died two days later to head trauma. He had a fight two months prior where he lost by KO, commissioners have since suggested he had second impact syndrome and shouldn't have been allowed to take another fight so soon.
Tyrone Mims was a 30 year old competing at Conflict MMA Fight Night on August 11th 2012. The referee called stoppage in the second round with Tyrone seeming exhausted and unable to fight. Tyrone's corner checked him, and he seemed fine. He lost consciousness shortly after. Mims was pronounced dead on the way to the hospital. His autopsy revealed no head trauma or any type of conclusive reason for death.
Booto Guylain a 29 year old fighter at EFC Africa 27 on February 27th 2014, sustained a head injury from his 3rd round knockout loss. He was taken to the hospital after fight showing signs of head trauma. Booto died a week later from brain swelling.
Donshay White a 37 year old fighter competing at Hardrock MMA 90 on July 16th 2017. He lost by TKO in the second round and collapsed after the fight. He died on the way to the hospital and it was revealed that hypertensive heart disease was the culprit. As he didn't take his heart medication the day before the fight.
Rondel Clark was a 26 year old fighter from Sutton Massachusetts. Cage Titans XXXV on August 12, 2017 would be his second and last sanctioned bout. By the 3rd round Clark was unable to defend himself and lost via TKO. His post fight exam showed him to struggle breathing, he was then sent to the hospital. He died August 15th. Autopsy showed that he had kidney failure, a sickle cell trait and mostly died to dehydration.
Those are the 7 recorded deaths in sanctioned MMA matches. Sometimes it was direct injury from the fight or the fight just played a minor role. Regardless MMA is very dangerous and while it's a sport based around beating each other within an inch of our lives, we should treat it with immense respect. s the night before which may have impacted his death. He was part of a program that helps addicts recover through MMA.