Michael Kirkham 1980-2010

Aspiring mixed martial artist Michael Kirkham passed away earlier today (June 28) after succumbing to a brain hemorrhage that resulted from head trauma suffered in his debut loss at "Confrontation at the Convocation" from the USC Aiken Convocation Center on June 26 in Aiken, South Carolina.

Like the Sam Vasquez tragedy that gave us pause in late 2007, this morning's dispiriting report from WRDW in Augusta was a sobering reminder of the risk involved when competing in combat sports.

Beneath the spectacle of high profile pay-per-views and big money sponsorship deals lies the mortality of every man and woman that answers the call of professional fighting. It is with deep regret that I join the rank and file of MMA fans that too often forget how fortunate our sport has been to its fighters.

The early reports suggest that Kirkham's participation and eventual defeat were nothing short of ordinary, no different than the many thousands of fights that came before his.

While an autopsy is planned for June 29, there may be no smoking gun. What we may be left with is the reality that death is a permanent part of MMA. That of course will lead to another debate on the acceptance of MMA as a mainstream sport.

But now is not the time.

Michael Kirkham is gone. To best honor his memory, we must never forget the risk he took by stepping foot into the cage last Saturday night. It's the same risk that 22 other fighters will take at UFC 116 on July 3. Some will be cheered, some will be booed.

All must be respected.

(FanPost edited and promoted by

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.


You must be a member of to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at You should read them.


You must be a member of to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at You should read them.




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.