Nigerian-born Felix Pablo Elochukwu made his mixed martial arts (MMA) debut last Friday night (April 5, 2013) at Amateur Fighting Club (AFC) "Unleash the Beast" in Port Huron, Michigan.
Following his third-round technical knockout loss, he collapsed and died.
Results from Elochukwu's autopsy on Monday are still pending; however, it should be noted his amateur contest was not regulated or sanctioned and no pre-fight medical testing was required, according to a report from Sportsnet. Paramedics on the scene were able to revive him, but only briefly.
AFC issued a statement on Facebook (via Toronto Sun):
"Last night's event, April 6th, we lost a member of our MMA family and we would like to take this time to honor him. This is a tragic turn of events. We will keep his family and friends in our prayers and we ask you to do the same. May God be with them in this devastating time of loss. To us, this tragedy will not end today. He will remain in our hearts and on our minds. Further information will be posted at a later time."
If AFC truly wants to honor him, then it can help lead the charge to get amateur MMA regulated in Michigan. Or, at the very least, it can implement the same safety standards and requirements the pros enjoy for its next show. There's no guarantee it would have saved Elochukwu, but it will at least give those who come after him a fighting chance.
And help put a stop to nonsense like this.