- A 22-year-old amateur MMA fighter in Brazil died after a knockout loss on Saturday.
- Mateus Fernandes, a jiujitsu expert, reportedly had seizures in the cage and four heart attacks before dying in hospital.
- Event organisers said they believe Fernandes had been using drugs before the event and died because of an overdose, rather than damage sustained during the fight itself.
- Reports also suggest the coroner showed the cause of death as an overdose.
A 22-year-old amateur MMA fighter in Brazil died from a reported drug overdose after a knockout loss, seizures, and four heart attacks.
Jiujitsu expert Mateus Fernandes competed in the first bout of the night at Remulus Fight, an MMA event in Manaus, Brazil, on Saturday, March 30.
Fernandes won the first two rounds of the fight, according to La Sexta, but in the third round he lost consciousness in the cage when he was unable to defend himself against a succession of blows to the neck and head.
The final punch was a hookercut, a combination of a hook shot and an uppercut, which appeared to hit Fernandes so hard his gumshield flew out of his mouth.
In footage seen by Business Insider, a referee then steps in to wave the fight off. A doctor checks on Fernandes and rolls him onto his side in the recovery position.
Vanderluce Cantuarias, coordinator of a gym where Fernandes trained, told MMA Fighting that the athlete then had seizures. He was then transferred to hospital, suffered four heart attacks, and doctors were unable to save him.
However, reports suggest that Fernandes’ death was the result of drug use, rather than damage sustained in the fight.
“There have been allegations that Mateus was using drugs before to enter the ring, which could have contributed to his death,” event organiser Romulo Lobo said, according to La Sexta.
According to Cantuarias, the coroner’s report showed the cause of death as an overdose.
She told MMA Fighting that she had heard reports Fernandes was “using drugs” the night before the fight. “He was sweating a lot, but that is common, the adrenaline of the fight.
“He did great in the first couple of rounds, but was rocked in the third round and went down, and then he started having seizures caused by the drugs.”
Lobo and the Remulus Fight promotion are providing legal help to Fernandes’ family, according to MMA Fighting.
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