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How Many MMA Fighters Have Died

Heorhii Rysak

It will not be an exaggeration to say that each kind of sport is traumatic. Some traumas, unfortunately, are lethal.

MMA is considered to be one of the most dangerous kinds of sports since the rate of deaths is the highest here. That is why MMA fighters signed the agreement that they are aware of the risks. The
dead MMA fighters list below will mention the fighters who have signed this agreement for the last time. Here you can see the best MMA gloves for beginners

Sam Vasquez

Sam Vasquez is a famous American MMA fighter who was born in 1972 in Texas. He always trained hard and dreamt about the big stage. He has spent three official fights. In one of them, he was a winner. The last fight occurred on October 20, 2007, at the Renegades Extreme Fighting show, a sanctioned event. The last punch was taken from a young Vincent Libardi, whose hard right to Vasquez’s chin stopped the fight in the third round. As a result, Sam Vasquez was taken to the hospital, where he died after several days. It has become the first death because of traumas obtained on the ring. 

Michael Kirkham

Each MMA death is a tragedy. The story of Michael Kircham has become the second death that occurred in a sanctioned MMA bout. The official event took place in South Carolina in 2010. The opponent knocked off Michael’s feet and delivered several concentrated hits to his head. The referee had to stop the fight after noticing Michael’s inability to defend. In a few seconds, he blacked out. After two days of staying in the hospital, when the doctors were fighting for his life, Michael Kircham died. The intracranial hemorrhage caused this death.  

Tyrone Mims

Tyrone “Teestea” Mims was born in 1982. He was an amateur MMA fighter. His last fight took place in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, in 2012. It was his first sanctioned fight against Blake Poore. In the second round of the fight, he suddenly stopped protecting himself and appeared in a total knockout. After that, the event was stopped, and Mims was taken to the hospital, where he soon died. This death became a mystery because no official cause of the death was announced. And this became the second death during the sanctioned event organized by South Caroline Athletic Commission. 

Booto Guylain

In 2014, another MMA fighter dies after a fatal elbow kick into his head. It was Booto Guylain, a South African MMA fighter. He has spent only two events and failed both of them (technical knockout and knockout). The last one against Keron Davies appeared to be fatal. It was a sanctioned event in Johannesburg titled Extreme Fighting Championship Africa. He was a young fighter who was born in 1985. But after that unfortunate event, the 29-old fighter was rushed to the hospital, where he soon died because of swelling and bleeding on the brain. 

Donshay White

The dead MMA fighters list has been replenished by the name of Donshay White, who was born in 1980. In 2017, he participated in an amateur MMA bout, which became the last for him. Interestingly, he died not because of trauma obtained after the fight but because of previously diagnosed hypertensive heart disease. It was a fight against heavyweight fighter Ricky Muse in Kentucky’s amateur bout. Before the fight, Donshay White mentioned heart pain, but nobody paid serious attention to his claim. During the fight, White moved windy, and his moves were not stable. After this, he collapsed and never rose again.   

Rondel Clark

Have you ever thought about ​​how many MMA fighters have died to weight cutting? The number is not so great, but such fighters were. One of them was Pondel Clark, a 26-years old MMA fighter who was born in 1991 in Massachusetts. Weight cutting is a serious stress for the body. Before his last fight, Clark lost 15-20 pounds, which is critical before such a serious event. It was his only second fight in a career, where the opponent was Ryan Dunn during the Cage Titans Fighting Championship. He lost the fight after a technical knockout. In three days, Clark dies in the hospital because of rhabdomyolysis, when muscle tissues suffer because of dehydration. 

Mateus Fernandes

Has anyone died in MMA because of heavy drug use? Yes, Mateus Fernandes was one of them. He was 22 years old when, after the fight in 2019, he died. Mateus was a Brazilian fighter who met with his opponent Obed Pereira during a Remulus Fight in Manaus, Brazil. After a number of hits, Fernandes was dropped to a knee. He was extremely sweating during the whole fight. It was proven that before a fight, he took drugs as stimulation. After the fight was stopped by a referee, Fernandes died a few hours later in a hospital after several heart attacks.

Leandro Souza

Leonardo “Feijao” Souza was among those who died because of weight cutting. His story happened before Rondel Clark’s case. Souza was a Brazilian MMA fighter who died in 2013, even before his planned fight began. His body could not handle the excessive stress of weight loss during a short period before the match. When trying to lose 33 pounds in several days, a 26-year-old fighter died before the weigh-in procedure. The official cause of death was announced as a stroke because of extreme dehydration and weight loss. 

Saeideh Aletaha

How many MMA fighters have died fighting in the female division? The sad statistics say that women also suffer during fights. Saeideh Aletaha was a 26-years-old female MMA fighter who died on November 17, 2019. She practiced this sport as an amateur athlete and wanted to perform on the professional stage. Her final fight occurred after the K-1 contest at the Central Hall in Southhampton. After a serious hit to her head, she then collapsed and was taken to the Southhampton hospital, where she died a day after because of acute subdural hematoma.

Lucas Gabriel Peres

Lucas Gabriel Peres was a promising Brazilian MMA fighter who died in his early 22. A severe head injury was obtained by the athlete during the bout in September 2021.  After the sanctioned bout on September 11, Peres complained of having a headache. His condition deteriorated, and Peres was taken to the Hospital Metropolitano, where he died after several days. The death certificate underlined a serious head injury leading to death. 

Has anyone died in the UFC?

Speaking about the MMA death, there can be a logical question has anyone died in the UFC? It was reported that more than 22 deaths had taken place in MMA sports. But in the UFC sports, there have been no reported deaths since this sports creation. But it does not mean that there were no severe injuries. Many of the fighters were taken to the hospitals after the fight in the Octagon. But all of them survived.  

Why Has There Never Been A Death In The UFC?

UFC takes the fighter’s safety more seriously. Everything that is happening in the ring is subordinated to strict rules and regulations. Additionally, UFC is subordinated to the state athletic commissions, which helps to create safe conditions for fighters. They conduct a serious medical screening before and after each match. It’s because they care about the health of the fighters. All these have brought wide recognition to UFC, among other popular contact sports.


What are the main reasons for deaths in MMA?

The reasons for deaths in MMA include but are not limited to head trauma, subdural hemorrhage, brain swelling, hypertensive heart disease, rhabdomyolysis, heart attack, stroke, etc.

Are UFC injuries and deaths interrelated?

There are lots of reported injuries during the UFC tournaments, but none of them has led to athletes’ deaths.

Sum Up

Taking into account the severe character of MMA fights, it’s not deprived of fatal outcomes among athletes due to various reasons. It’s difficult to imagine how many MMA fighters have died to weight cutting and other reasons, such as drug overuse. In the majority of cases, each fighter should be responsible for their health. It’s necessary to critically evaluate one’s health and physical abilities before each fight. When all the threatening factors are taken into account, the number of deaths during the fight will reduce.