Unanswered questions in death of South Dakota fighter Dustin Jenson

source: mmajunkie.com
 

On May 18, Dustin Jenson, 26, fought in an unregulated MMA event in Rapid City, South Dakota called RingWars. This was reportedly his fifth fight, although there is no official record of any of his fights, as MMA is not regulated in South Dakota, despite a law that says it should be.

Jenson tapped to a triangle choke, and did not appear to take any significant damage in the bout (see video below). He told EMTs he was fine, watched two more fights, and went back stage to stretch out. Another fighter heard a moan, and discovered Jenson having seizure, some 45 minutes after the fight.

The called the EMT, the only medical personell on hand, and and ambulance was called.

Doctors at the near by Rapid City Regional Hospital determined he had increased pressure on his brain, and put him in a medically induced coma. Surgery was performed to relieve pressure, but Jenson did not wake up and was declared brain dead on May 24. He remained on life support until his organs were donated.

An autopsy performed Tuesday could shed light on why Jenson died.

Until the results are available in four to six weeks, the county sheriff's office won't decide whether to conduct a death investigation, Pennington County Sheriff Sergeant Dustin Morrison told MMAjunkie.com.

A private EMT company was present at the event – per the arena's contract with the promoter, Matt DeWolf, a professional fighter who also trained and cornered Jenson – but an ambulance was not on standby.

Prior to the event, the private EMTs questioned fighters on their recent medical history, including whether they had any previous head injuries or been recently knocked out. Fighters were not required to submit bloodwork, neurological or ophthalmological exams beforehand, as is standard in states with athletic commissions.

In 2009, then-South Dakota Governor Mike Rounds enacted legislation to create the South Dakota Boxing Commission, which would oversee combat-sports events, including MMA, in the state. But for reasons that are unclear, the commission doesn't appear to exist. It has no website and does not have a presence on the ABC's website. An official from the state's attorney general's office couldn't explain why the legislation wasn't put into effect, and a representative from the governor's office was unavailable for comment.

One industry veteran who's promoted events in South Dakota said regulation is entirely at the discretion of the promoter.

"It's pretty much whatever goes, goes," said Dan Lewis, who recently sold his interest in the Tri-State Cage Fighting promotion. "You'll see [fighters compete] that are drunk. It's just a crazy sport in South Dakota."

New Jersey State Athletic Control Board counsel Nick Lembo said the incident underscores the dire need for regulation.

"It's an unfortunate incident," he said. "We don't know exactly what happened, but I would hope that all jurisdictions see that there needs to be minimum pre-licensing, pre-fight screening and post-fight screening, performed by a licensed physician, and that emergency medical personnel, fully equipped with an ambulance, need to be on site.

"It's a combat sport, and in this day and age, we need to be cognizant of the risks and do the fighters and the sport justice by having concerns about their health and safety along with the integrity of the contest. Basically, if a promoter or a regulatory body can't do or can't afford proper medical screening, then they shouldn't do the event. It's not good for the sport. It's not good for the fighters."

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tags: Dustin Jenson   RingWars. video   



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Recent Comments »

Alumynabjj site profile image  

6/3/12 3:22 AM by Alumynabjj

Wtf are you blathering about? That has absolutely nothing to do with what I was talking about. Please gain some reading comprehension before trying to enter a discussion.

Octagon Mom site profile image  

6/3/12 2:09 AM by Octagon Mom

You are officially a retard and there is no debate based on what you just said.Do you really thing there is a price too high to find out if you have some sort of degenerative disease that may be accelerated by fighting for a living?It's called an investment into your current health and future well being. If you can't afford a blood test or cannot string together enough of an idea on how to raise the funds for one, you shouldn't be in a position to decide weather you should fight for a living. If you think a blood test is expensive as an amateur fighter, good luck when you get hurt trying to fight other grown men for a living and those medical bills start coming in.You sir are an idiot.

Octagon Mom site profile image  

6/3/12 2:03 AM by Octagon Mom

Scans in Canada are free, so suck it!If you are too cheap to spring for one for your own safety you have no idea how life or your bodies health works and probably shouldn't agree to getting punched in the head for money. Sorry but that is a fact.

DallasVanWinkle site profile image  

6/1/12 3:48 PM by DallasVanWinkle

Just the luck of the draw. Aneurysms are very rare, you have to have a $2000 scan to detect it (and the doctor has to know what to be looking for to begin with). He probably had an aneurysm (perhaps from another one of his fights) and it may have burst because of the pressure from the triangle choke.I had a concussion a few years ago and I get headaches on the right side of my head quite often but I can't afford a scan to see if I have one or not. It sucks because I want to spar and fight again but I can't afford a scan.

Alumynabjj site profile image  

6/1/12 3:24 PM by Alumynabjj

 Why? Outside of bloodtests 95% of all shows do not require anything more than a bloodtest.

Unwariestpickle site profile image  

6/1/12 3:10 PM by Unwariestpickle

The fight itself wasn't anything out of the ordinary so it appears to me that there was most likely a pre-existing condition. Was the fighter prone to seizures? Was he hyped up on drugs?"Fighters were not required to submit bloodwork, neurological or ophthalmological exams beforehand"This is what concerns me.

Alumynabjj site profile image  

6/1/12 1:40 PM by Alumynabjj

 Scans before fights? WTF man.. do you even have a clue how much a scan costs yet you want them for ammy fights? People like you slay me. I hope you are never in any type of decision making position.

SugaShaneDZ site profile image  

6/1/12 11:02 AM by SugaShaneDZ

the fact of the matter is that these kind of shows are mostly filled with wannabes...anyone who gets in the cage without bloodwork is just an idiot in my mind...I was raised in So dakota and wanted to take a few fights there...found out about lack of commision and said no thanks....also found out that if you fight for a non-sancitoned state...you can be suspened by the ABC and federal licencse committee

UGCTT_LnPninja site profile image  

6/1/12 10:48 AM by UGCTT_LnPninja

 ^^^^^ Yep. Likely a pre-existing condition that was exaggerated by the pressure of the fight.  Regulation is desperately needed. Some tests/scans may of saved this man's life.  SUCKS

Kirik site profile image  

6/1/12 10:35 AM by Kirik

This is not Duk Koo Kim.  I do not see anything that is life threatening in that vid.



 

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