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Cause of death: MMA

So the medical examiner’s ruling on Sammy Vasquez’s passing has finally come out, and it looks like MMA was indeed the cause of death for this guy:

The 35-year-old Vasquez passed away Nov. 30 after being knocked out by San Antonio’s Vince Libardi in the third round of a Renegades Extreme Fighting bout Oct. 20 at Toyota Center in Houston. After being hospitalized, Vasquez suffered a stroke, endured two surgeries to remove blood clots in his brain and spent weeks in intensive care.

The official ruling from the medical examiner’s office stated that Vasquez died of “complications from blunt trauma to the head with subdural hemorrhage.”

I know everyone was kinda hoping that the autopsy would find something there that would ‘clear’ MMA of direct responsibility in the death. When Douglas Dedge died in Russia, people were able to point to all the hardcore blinking red warning lights leading up to the incident: Dedge’s fainting spells during training, his inability to get licensed in America. But with Sammy Vasquez, there was nothing ‘wrong’ with what happened. His training went fine. He was cleared as fit and healthy. After losing the fight he received immediate medical attention. But somehow he still died.

There’s still a chance that the full autopsy report might contain some small mitigating factors: anti-inflammatory drugs make the brain more likely to bleed from trauma and cause the kind of hemorrhage that Vasquez had. But at this point I think people really need to accept the fact that yes … MMA is dangerous, and yes … you could die doing it, even if you’re perfectly healthy and if all the safety precautions are taken.

  • FightStinker is RIGHT!

    he died with honor.

    RIP Sammy Vasquez

    You can die doing anything. Hell a Masquitoe can kill you if you are that unlucky.

  • clint notestine

    MMA is still safer than basically any other sport except maybe chess.

  • Captain

    I don’t think anyone ever thought there would never be an MMA death. I think people just worried about it a little too much.

    I get pretty mad when I lose at chess. Add some taunting and we’re talking mushroom cloud laying motherfucker, motherfucker.

  • operator

    You see the guy get knocked out on TUF and wonder how much brain damage he got from that one and if it was the first punch that fucked him up or the three hammer fists after he was down. I know laque of killer instinct can cost you a fight but sometimes it is brutal watching guys getting smashed in the face even though they’re already down doing the funky chicken and clearly out cold.

  • x5BoltMainx

    True, but they’re taught to fight until the ref tells you to stop. Every sport teaches you as a kid to keep playing until the whistle blows. Shit happens. Atleast he died doing what he enjoyed.

  • fightlinker

    I hate that ‘dying doing what he enjoyed’. That’s never true. No one ever dies doing what they loved. People who kayak and die don’t die kayaking, they die drowning. And no one loves drowning. Vasquez didn’t die doing MMA, he died weeks later in a hospital of a brain bleed, which must feel fucking horrific.

    /end rant!

  • kentyman

    But he didn’t die in a random car crash. Or from emphysema. Or a strange allergic reaction.

    He died (because of a complication related to) doing what he enjoyed. And I think that still means something.

  • Swedish guy

    Nah, I’m with Ryan on this one. Nobody loves dying.

  • kentyman

    Ugh. I didn’t say he loved dying. That’s silly. I said the died doing what he loved.

    Assume he loved MMA. And that he died doing MMA. Then he died doing what he loved. Pretty simple.

    Nobody is pretending it doesn’t suck.

  • danaunclefesterwhite

    Any sport that allows you to deliver shots to a guy’s head, especially when you’re hitting a guy while he is unconscious on the ground, is going to put you at risk for brain damage, even death. I love to watch MMA and I like some good boxing and K-1 but this is an occupation I wouldn’t recommend to anyone I personally knew. BJJ and wrestling is a lot safer. I’d rather be an Eddie Bravo (teach jiu-jitsu for a living, compete in ADCC, get high on medical marijuana) than a Kazushi Sakuraba or Muhammad Ali. People get limbs broken all the time in mainstream sports but people risk brain damage or even death in boxing and mma and I’d say that’s a lot worse.

  • danaunclefesterwhite

    Every MMA fan is talking about MMA is so safe. MMA is a young sport. We don’t really have a full picture about what the ramifications are for athletes in the long run when they compete in the sport. Boxing is an old sport so there are plenty of retired boxers out there who have noticeable brain damage that we can use as examples. In the future, maybe we’re going to see a lot of Kazushi Sakuraba’s. And would you want to be like Sakuraba when you’re not even 40 yet? The man is literally falling part. Just look at him.