Promoter: Massachusetts fighter was not killed by strikes

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Rondel Clark’s death following an amateur fight at Cage Titans in Plymouth on Saturday was the first fatality linked to mixed martial arts in Massachusetts, and the first fatality linked to a combat sport regulated by the Massachusetts State Athletic Commission since boxer Bobby Tomasello died after a match in 2000. It is being investigated by state and local law enforcement, by Plymouth County prosecutors, and by the MSAC. The cause of death has yet to be determined by the medical examiner.

The match up was fair. The fighter was well conditioned and properly trained. The promotion is respected. The bout was well regulated. It was refereed effectively. And the deceased did not take significant damage. The death remains a mystery, although there are unsubstantiated rumors that the fighter suffered kidney failure due to dehydration.

Cage Titans president Michael Polvere spoke publicly for the first time about the death, in an interview with Travis Andersen for the Boston Globe. Polvere said ringside doctors told him Clark was not killed by blows he received. It doesn’t take a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing; anyone watching the fight could tell that it was stopped for exhaustion and that Clark did not suffer a notable degree of contact.

“One hundred percent, this isn’t a case where this kid took way too many blows or was injured due to strikes, submission holds, or anything like that,” said Polvere. “For all intents and purposes, this is a tragedy [and] there’s more questions than there are answers right now. What medically went wrong, we have questions as well, but our thoughts first and foremost are with Rondel and his family.”

A celebration of Clark’s life is planned at First United Methodist Church in Westborough, Mass. at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday.