Here’s an interesting tale that didn’t get a lot of exposure after the Strikeforce Challengers card a few weeks ago:
Competing on the July 22 Challenger Series 17 mixed martial arts card in Las Vegas, Mike Cook made his Strikeforce debut and defeated previously unbeaten Lional Lanham by technical knockout with just 1 second remaining in the first round. However, soon after referee Kim Winslow pulled the 205-pound Team Trauma product off of his defenseless opponent, Cook staggered to his corner and spoke uneasily to his boxing coach, Tito Ocasio.
“I told him my body felt like it was shutting down,” Cook said. “Then, I blacked out. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t see.”
After Cook essentially was carried to mid-cage to have his hand raised, he was hurried to the back of the Pearl at The Palms where medics deemed he needed to be rushed to the nearest hospital. Upon arrival, the doctor did a full examination and notified Cook that he had kidney failure.
“They told me if I hadn’t been brought in, I probably would have died,” Cook said.
If your guess on why his kidneys would go ahead and peskily shut down like that was ‘bad weight cut’, you’d be correct. Cook was a last minute replacement for another fighter on the card and cut 11 pounds in a few days. If you’re thinking that doesn’t sound like a lot compared to the monsters of weight cutting like Thiago Alves and Anthony Johnson, who allegedly cut up to 30 pounds, keep in mind that they prepare those cuts over the course of months via a variety of different methods.
This case kinda shows you how badly a brute force cut can affect your body. It wouldn’t surprise me if the first death in major league MMA has something to do with weight cutting.