On Friday, 35-year-old Nigerian Felix Elochukwu Nchikwo, fighting under the name Felix Pablo Elochukwu, died following his participation in an unregulated amateur MMA bout in Michigan. The bout was stopped during the third round, as Elochukwu was not intelligently defending himself. Reports said he did not sustain any notable damage, but rather appeared fatigued, a common occurence for many first-time fighters.
Although a full coroner report is not expected for some weeks, initial evidence is that the death was not due to damage from being hit.
Cory Ruf from the CBC News has the story.
There is "no evidence" that a Hamilton man died from trauma he sustained during an unregulated mixed martial arts match, according to representative from a Michigan coroner's office.
"He just had an MMA fight and he got a little exhausted and the fight was stopped," said his trainer.
"He was perfectly all right. He just got tired at the end, got a little dizzy. They gave him some juice and then he collapsed forward. Now they're doing an autopsy to see if he had a heart attack or whatever."
"He was a big boy and I think maybe the over-exertion from the fight was a little too much for him at that time.”
Nchikwo was living in Canada on a student visa. He had been studying at Memorial University in Newfoundland before moving to Ontario about two years ago to pursue a career in MMA.
He was employed as a private security guard for a DJ who worked in several clubs on George Street, a hub for nightlife in St. John's.
“He came into our lives out of the blue, then he became a friend very quickly and he was well respected,” said Seamus Dooley, 26, who runs Flo Lounge, a bar where Nchikwo became a familiar face. "I would describe him as a gentle giant, no doubt."
Nchikwo got interested in MMA after a friend told him he'd be good at the sport, Dooley said.
The St. Clair County medical examiner has conducted an autopsy on Felix Nchikwo's body. A full report is expected in six to eight weeks.
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