Ontario Man Dies after MMA Fight in Michigan
Tragedy has struck the MMA world as news is now circulating that a thirty-five-year-old Ontario resident has passed away following his first amateur mixed martial arts bout in Port Huran, Michigan on Friday.
Nigerian-born Pablo Elochukwu recently moved to Ontario in 2012 and was apparently very excited to compete in his first MMA bout. However, the armature bout was unsanctioned and unregulated, which is something the state of Michigan has been known for and has been under high scrutiny for over the past few years.
In Michigan, pre-fight screenings and physicals for amateur MMA fighters are almost non-existent. This is ridiculous considering promoters have no idea what the health issues or past health problems of their fighters might be. The state also allows fighters under 18 years of age to compete and no ringside physicians or ambulances are even required. This is a recipe for disaster in the world of MMA.
Elochkwu, a three-time gold medal winner on the local grappling circuit, was a heavyweight that sources say weighed in at 265 pounds for his MMA debut on Friday in Port Huron. Sources have also stated that neither Elochkwu nor his opponent took a pre-fight medical exam or health screening. This was probably the start of the disaster.
Sources say that the first two rounds were fairly uneventful, mostly showcasing back and forth grappling between the two fighters. However, it was clear that both inexperienced fighters were beginning to show signs of fatigue and in between the second and third round it was apparent that Elochukwu was almost completely out of gas.
In the third round Elochukwu gave up his positioning and was mounted. The referee stopped the bout shortly after as Elochukwu was not “intelligently defending himself” while eating “soft hammer fists” from his opponent. Apparently Elochukwu seemed fine as he stood in for the official decision but had to be assisted to his corner seat immediately after. When he sat down those around him noticed something was wrong and offered him some orange juice, fearing that his blood sugar may have dropped significantly. He then fell off the chair, where paramedics were called in to assist (doctors or paramedics were not ringside).
Sources say that the paramedics showed up within minutes and apparently revived him. They then took him away, likely in route to a hospital. It was then that Elochukwu passed away.
Further details have not yet risen regarding the cause of death. An autopsy was expected to be performed on Monday to determine the exact cause of death.
Our hearts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Pablo Elochukwu in this saddening time.