Ontario man dies after amateur MMA debut

There has never been a death in a UFC fight and a total of four deaths in sanctioned MMA events.
April 8, 2013, 3:27 PM

A thirty-five-year-old Ontario resident died after competing in his first amateur mixed martial arts bout in Port Huron, Mich., on Friday.

Nigerian-born Pablo Elochukwu, who recently moved to Ontario in 2012, was apparently very excited to compete in his first MMA bout. Unfortunately, it would be his last.

The heavyweight, who sources say weighed 265 pounds for his MMA debut on Friday and was also a three-time gold-medal winner on the local grappling circuit, was competing in an unsanctioned event in Port Huron, Mich. According to sources, neither he nor his opponent was required to undergo pre-fight medicals for their bout.

The first two rounds were said to have been mostly grappling, but the inexperienced fighters both began showcasing signs of fatigue, especially in between rounds two and three.

Sometime in the third round, Elochukwu was mounted and was not intelligently defending what were deemed to be soft hammer fists. The referee made the decision to halt the bout, potentially believing that Pablo was not going to be able to improve the position he was in.

Elochukwu appeared to be fine during the announcement of the final decision and walked away on his own accord, albeit, with some assistance to ensure the fatigued fighter could make it to a seat.

When he did sit down, those around him noticed something was wrong and offered him some orange juice, believing his blood sugar may have dropped significantly. He then fell off the chair, where paramedics were called in to assist.

They showed up within minutes and apparently revived him, but took him away to be safe, likely to the nearest hospital. Shortly thereafter, Elochukwu passed away, and it is currently unknown if he did so en route to the hospital, or at the medical facility.

An autopsy was expected to be performed Monday to determine the cause of death.

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