A 28-year-old MMA fighter from Portugal died Monday night, 48 hours after he was knocked out during the third round of a fight in Dublin, the New York Daily News reports. According to the Washington Post, graphic video from the fight on Saturday shows Joao Carvalho tipping over after being hit in the head multiple times by Irish fighter Charlie Ward. The owner of the company that organized the fight says Carvalho was able to correctly answer questions in between rounds, but his health went downhill immediately after the fight. It started with a feeling of exhaustion before progressing to headaches, nausea, and vomiting. He was taken to the hospital.
Carvalho had emergency brain surgery and spent the next two days in critical condition. "Nobody involved in combat sports of any kind wants to see this," MMA star Conor McGregor, who was at the fight, tells the BBC. "To see a young man doing what he loves, competing for a chance at a better life, and then to have it taken away is truly heartbreaking." McGregor, who called Carvalho "a hell of a fighter," criticized the referees for not stopping the fight earlier, the Independent reports. Cesar Silver, CEO of Total Extreme Fighting, offered "sincere condolences" to Carvalho's family and teammates in a statement: "Our thoughts and prayers are with them.”