7 Deaths That Rocked the MMA Community

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7 Deaths That Rocked the MMA Community
Photo courtesy of Sports Illustrated

The sport of mixed martial arts is dangerous. Two men compete, utilizing every physical and mental tool they have, hoping to render the other defenseless.

Some men endure, overcome, thrive. Some break mentally; some break physically. A few have even died as a direct result of competition.

There’s no skirting the realities of the sport.

It takes a legitimately tough guy to enter a cage prepared to fight another trained professional. If you don’t have it, you don’t have it. Whether it is physical or mental—or both—it doesn’t matter. The mixed martial artist is a special breed.

Competing in one of the most challenging sports doesn’t come without its risks. That’s the beginning and the end of the line.

If your goal is to compete in the world of professional MMA, be prepared to sweat, cry, bleed and sadly, perhaps even die.

We’ve lost some promising talents and colorful characters over the years. Promising upstart Tyrone Mimms passed away last year after experiencing extreme fatigue during a fight and collapsing later backstage. Dustin Jenson watched two bouts following his own at a RingWars event last year only to head backstage and have a seizure. Sadly, he died soon after.

There are plenty of examples, and the deaths linked to MMA aren’t specifically cage-related. UFC veteran Gilbert Aldana drowned in an unfortunate accident in 2007. Chris Smith didn't have the chance to get his career moving before a car careened head-first into his vehicle last year.

Fighters compete in a wildly dangerous sport, but they’re human beings. All life meets an end.

MMA doesn’t necessarily kill people, but the sport has and will continue to experience untimely departures and unfortunate losses. That’s not just the name of the game—that’s the name of life.   

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