MMA community on loss of fighter: 'This hits home for us' - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

MMA community on loss of fighter: 'This hits home for us'

Donshay White (Source: Bluegrass MMA) Donshay White (Source: Bluegrass MMA)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Tragedy struck Hardrock MMA on Saturday when a fighter died after a bout at Expo Five in Louisville.

Hardrock MMA is the promoter group who has organized events since 2009 and they said this is the first death the group has experienced.

Donshay White, 37 years old of Radcliff, died after his bout in MMA 90. A referee called the fight once White could no longer defend himself.

"Mr. White was attended to by a licensed ringside physician and first responders immediately following his bout, and he received onsite medical attention before being transported via ambulance to the hospital," The Kentucky Boxing and Wrestling Commission, who regulates MMA competitions, said

Before Saturday, White's last fight was at Hardrock MMA 76 in 2015.

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Since 2009, Hardrock MMA has promoted competitions around the state of Kentucky.

"It's a rigorous process just to become licensed as a competitor," Gary Thomas said. Thomas, with Hardrock MMA, said fighters must complete physicals to become competitors.A "fight day" physical is also required by a cage side physician who's required at every event.

"Once it was learned of what happened the mood of the event space was somber," Thomas said.

"This hits home for us,” Adrian Jenkins said. “This is how I make my living this is what I do every minute I am not with my family."

Jenkins owns a martial arts gym and has fought competitively for ten years. He was at Hardrock MMA90 on Saturday night and witnessed White lose the second bout of the night.

"There is no way to tell this was going to happen," Jenkins said.

Jenkins explained that White headed back to the area where physicals are required to examine every fighter after their bout.

"It took about six or seven steps after he got into the door to where we prep and he just collapsed," Jenkins said. 

After White was sent to the hospital, another fighter was injured and taken by EMS. Without medical personnel on site, the competition was canceled. 12 fighters were left without a bout and White's opponent stricken with remorse.

"You have the guilt of feeling like you possibly took this man's life," Branden Bishop said. Bishop was scheduled to fight the main event and saw White's opponent Ricky Muse on Saturday.

Even with all the risks the combat sport presents, Bishop said preparation and passion keeps MMA alive.

"You have to train to the point where you know that you are 100 percent," Bishop said.

The Kentucky Boxing and Wrestling Commission continues to review the tragic event. White’s cause of death has still not been released.

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