Final autopsy inconclusive in death of SC fighter

by Steven Marrocco | source: mmajunkie

On Saturday Aug. 11, 2012 at Conflict MMA Promotions: Fight Night @ The Point VI, at the Omar Shrine Convention Center in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, Tyrone Mims made his amateur debut vs. Blake Poore, at a catch weight of 180. It was just the second fight of what was scheduled to be a 14-fight card.

The 30-year-old, Augusta, Georgia based Mims was so dominating in the first round that the referee considered stopping the fight. However, Mims gassed in the round, got mounted, and the referee stopped the contest.

Mims smiled, spoke coherently, and told a ringside doctor he was OK, but needed rest. With help he walked to the locker room, where he removed his gloves and drank water.

Within minutes, Mims began breathing heavily, became incoherent, and passed out.

Mims faded in and out of consciousness as emergency crews attempted to revive him. He was pronounced dead at Medical University Hospital at 9:27 P.M.

He leaves behind five children.

A ringside physician said there was no sign that anything in the fight contributed to Mims’ death.

An initial autopsy was inconclusive.

Now some three months later, after a final autopsy, the Charleston (S.C.) County Coroner's office has ruled the cause of MMA fighter Tyrone Mims' death as undetermined.

A complete forensic autopsy, toxicology testing and even genetic testing could not explain why Mims collapsed following a fight and later died, Coroner Rae Wooten told

"At this point in time, we have exhausted all that we know to do," Wooten said.

According to a police report of the incident, Mims was spotted taking the prescription painkiller Percocet prior to the fight. The toxicology report did not reveal the presence of drugs or alcohol.

"We heard that, and we went back and did all kinds of extra testing and we weren't able to identify that," Wooten said.

Mims had submitted a blood test, eye exam and a physical prior to being cleared to fight on Aug. 11. Mims was also given a post-fight exam by a doctor on site.

The coroner's office said it specifically looked for evidence of a concussion or brain trauma that might have contributed to Mims' death, but could find none.

"We also have to wonder whether he might have had an irregular heart because of some electrical dysfunction," Wooten said. "That obviously isn't seen after death. Once that's completed, there's no evidence of that. It's one of the things we have to consider, and you see this happen sometimes in individuals who are participating in activities that require a lot of exertion.

"There's just nothing here that explains his death. It's also important to note that based on what I've seen, I don't know anything that might have been predictive of his death. Granted, I only get to look at the side I get to look at, which is post-mortem. But it's my understanding that he was in good health and he was well-screened."

Wooten said that without new information on Mims, his death is likely to remain a mystery.

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tags: Regulation   South Carolina   Tyrone Mims   Blake Poore   

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Recent Comments »

Soup Nazi site profile image  

11/10/12 4:54 AM by Soup Nazi


DreamerMMA site profile image  

11/10/12 3:53 AM by DreamerMMA

That's a terrible tragedy.   One can only hope he died doing what he loved.   It's really all most of us could ask for.   RIP

OnlyTheStrongSurvive site profile image  

11/10/12 12:13 AM by OnlyTheStrongSurvive

I hear about this happening in basketball every year. Very sad.

SC MMA MD site profile image  

11/10/12 12:00 AM by SC MMA MD

^ good question. Insurance policies typically have specific exclusions for payouts (suicide etc) so I would expect that an inconclusive autopsy would mean life insurance pays since there is no proof of a condition that voids the policy. Any lawyers that can comment?

crowbar site profile image  

11/9/12 11:56 PM by crowbar

I wonder what these types of determinations by Coroner`s have on insurance policies?

SC MMA MD site profile image  

11/9/12 11:32 PM by SC MMA MD

So sad. It must be hard for the family to not have an answer as to what happened, particularly since many causes of sudden cardiac death in athletes are inheritable. There have been some fundraisers for his family; but I hope his family does not get forgotten by the MMA community as this story fades from memory

Forest Whitakers Lazy Eye site profile image  

11/9/12 10:44 PM by Forest Whitakers Lazy Eye

Thoughts go out to his family

Kings21 site profile image  

11/9/12 10:41 PM by Kings21

Horrible, horrible news. My thoughts go out to his friends and family. Its too bad they couldnt have more closure with a cause of death. RIP.

CindyO site profile image  

11/9/12 10:41 PM by CindyO

So sad:(   Cindy

CWH site profile image  

11/9/12 9:26 PM by CWH

5 Children! Wow, that is truely sad. Good thoughts going out to his family.