Deceased fighter Tyrone Mims final interview

Friday, August 17, 2012

Saturday night at Conflict MMA Promotions: Fight Night @ The Point VI, at the Omar Shrine Convention Center in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, Tyrone Mimms 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 Mimms was so dominating in the first round that the referee considered stopping the fight. However, Mimms 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, Mimms 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.

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

He leaves behind five children.

Reflecting Pool Productions was filming Mims and other members of The Augusta Fight Club for a TV reality show called “Georgia Boys: Grits and Glory.” Executive Producer Mark Crump released some of the video Thursday, as part of his effort to raise money for Mims’ family.

In his final interview just hours before his death, Mims was upbeat and smiling.

“I’m ready to fight,” the 30-year-old father of five said, smiling at the camera operator. “I want to get this show on the road.”

Mims, known as Teesta, jokingly called himself Teesta the Terror in the interview. He said it with a big smile that hinted at the easygoing nature friends said he always exhibited.

“I got my moms and them down here,” he said. “They’re down here supporting me, yeah. So I got a lot of people from Augusta coming. They gonna support me.”

The video shows Mims training at the Augusta gym, with his coach urging him on. Then somebody asks him about injuries.

“Injuries. Have you had injuries that we need to be concerned about at the gym?”

Crump said this question was asked about a week before the fight in Mount Pleasant.

Mims answers, “None, never.”

The clip ends with Mims smiling at the camera and saying, “Teesta the Terror.”

There was no sign of trauma that could have caused his death, according to the Charleston County coroner. Tissue studies that might reveal a clue aren’t expected for at least a month.

A police report said Mims was seen taking the narcotic painkiller Percocet before the fight, although it’s not clear why he might have needed it.

Fighters have pointed out that the death rate in MMA is lower than many other sports, including football and boxing. But the death revived a debate over whether the sport is too brutal and whether it is regulated well enough in South Carolina.

State law requires every fighter to get a thorough annual physical and to get checked out before and after each fight, and the state Athletic Commission said those rules are enforced.

Fighters and promoters said those requirements are being exceeded, including making sure fighters go up only against equal opponents.

Read entire interview…