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.
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 MMAmania.com)