The mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter Justin Thornton died this Monday, October 4, as a result of the serious injuries he suffered after being knocked out in August during his debut in the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC), an American company that organizes boxing matches. without gloves. The news was confirmed through a statement from the president of that organization, Dave Feldman, sent to the specialized portal MMA Fighting.
“This morning we were very saddened to be notified of the passing of one of our fighters … We join the rest of the combat sports community in sending our condolences to his family and loved ones,” said Feldman. The cause of death has not been publicly confirmed.
The 38-year-old American was hospitalized for several weeks after his fight with Dillon Cleckler on August 20, when he was beaten in just 19 seconds. He collapsed and fell facedown to the canvas after a forceful right hand from his opponent, who took the victory by knockout.
Thornton was reportedly partially paralyzed and suffered a number of health problems, including an infection from a spinal cord injury. A publication On September 23, on his Facebook profile, he stated that he needed help to breathe and suffered from a lung infection. His romantic partner, Amber Willard, wrote that, despite his condition, Justin was in a good mood, awake and joking. It is not clear why his health deteriorated.
As an MMA fighter, Thornton reached a 6-18 record and competed in various regional promotions. He shared the Octagon with UFC heavyweights like Walt Harris and Chase Sherman. Before his fight at BKFC, in November 2020 he faced Lex McMahon, a board member of the American promotion of mixed martial arts Titan Fighting Championship, who had decided to enter as a fighter at the age of 49.
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