T Nation

First Regulated MMA Death

RIP Sammy Vasquez.

Fuck, horrible news.

Not to be cynical, but it was bound to happen eventually. It will be interesting to see just how much the media picks up on it since it wasn’t in the UFC.

As Donut said it was bound to happen eventually. As safe as MMA is, and it is safe compared to many other sports, it’s still a combat sport.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the media. It may very well be ignored. It could though be one of those things that grows and grows.

It’s not a big story now but it does have the potential to become one.

I think this is far less likely to happen in the UFC.

The main problem the UFC brand faces is from the many small shows popping up everywhere. There are so many these days. They aren’t as rigorously regulated and don’t have the level of medical care on hand that the UFC has, but in the eyes of the media it may mean a death in “ultimate fighting” is a death in ultimate fighting full stop.

[quote]AdamC wrote:
I think this is far less likely to happen in the UFC.

The main problem the UFC brand faces is from the many small shows popping up everywhere. There are so many these days. They aren’t as rigorously regulated and don’t have the level of medical care on hand that the UFC has, but in the eyes of the media it may mean a death in “ultimate fighting” is a death in ultimate fighting full stop.[/quote]

It doesn’t matter how many doctors are ringside in a brain clot scenario like this. The UFC has all it’s medicals reviewed and done by the same commission that sees over the smaller shows. They just organize the fight cards, promote them, and pay the fighters. All medical work is handled by the appointed comissions.

I don’t think this will turn into a major issue. Boxing has had many deaths, Korean warrior Duk Koo Kim being beaten into a coma by Ray Mancini and then dying, being the most notorious example. While I’m sure fat, middle-aged women will be in an uproar about it, the sport will survive.

A terrible tragedy, yes.
The end of MMA, no.

Sucks but as stated above, it was bound to happen. Thing is he wasn’t in good health when he fought. Its not like someone broke his neck.

RIP to a fellow figher.

[quote]mr_slick wrote:
RIP to a fellow figher.[/quote]

Agreed. RIP, brother.

-dizzle

Sucks pretty hard.

Since he didn’t actually die in the ring I don’t know how much will be made of it.

Dang. Well, let’s accept it. People die in sports like boxing and wrestling. MMA is no different.

RIP.

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[quote]Donut62 wrote:

The UFC has all it’s medicals reviewed and done by the same commission that sees over the smaller shows. [/quote]

ALL of the smaller show? I doubt that.

People die in football too, you don’t see anyone stopping THAT sport.

I agree the sport will go on.

Hello,

I live in here in Houston where this tragedy happened. I follow the local MMA scene very closely. For those T-Nation readers interested I would like to provide details of what happened.

I will begin by saying that donations can be sent to:

Texas MMA Fight Shop
c/o Sammy Vasquez
5720 Mobud
San Antonio, TX 78238

If you have an extra $5.00 please send it. There is a wife and daughter that can use it.

On the night of October 20th a local MMA promotion, called Renegades, was held in the Toyota center. This promotion is operated by Saul Soliz. For those familiar with MMA or “The Ultimate Fighter” television series you may know the name. Saul is one of Tito Ortiz’s kickboxing coaches and was one of his assistant coaches on The Ultimate Fighter. Saul is sort of “the man” when it come to MMA here in Houston.

All of Saul’s shows are well organized, professional, and fully regulated. This one was no different. This show was fully licensed and approved by the necessary commissions and agencies.

There has also been some speculation about the cage. The fights did take place in a cage. The cage was also inspected and approved by all of the necessary governing bodies.

As would be expected at such a show medical personnel were on hand.

After taking several punches to the head Sammy was “dropped.” He appeared to recover and stood up. He subsequently collapsed and the fight was immediately stopped. While the EMT’s worked on him in the cage he did experience seizure activity. During his hospital stay he had to undergo two separate surgeries to remove blood clots. Something the doctors mentioned as being “very rare.” He also suffered a stroke while in the hospital. After being in the hospital for over a month he was released to a hospice where he passed away.

There are questions as to whether or not the severity of his injuries and ultimately his death are due entirely to what he experienced in his match or if he had some preexisting condition. He did pass the necessary pre-fight examinations. However, people (including doctors I have spoken with) have said that the formation of two blood clots seems highly unlikely to have been caused solely by the trauma experienced in the fight.

Regardless, this is a tragedy. There is now a mother and daughter that has lost their husband and father.

[quote]AdamC wrote:
Donut62 wrote:

The UFC has all it’s medicals reviewed and done by the same commission that sees over the smaller shows.

ALL of the smaller show? I doubt that.[/quote]

If it is a regulated MMA event, it is done under the auspices of the State Athletic Comission which is appointed by the governor (at least all that I know of) and oversees all fights in that state.

Many states do not have an athletic commission, or some shady promoters hold fights on Indian reservations, which is the only way around it. These fights are considered unregulated events and generally are freak shows held in a barn and not what I consider representative of organized MMA.