The death of 22-year-old fighter Lucas Gabriel Peres has sparked anger in the MMA community and ignited fresh calls for better care of athletes with head injuries.
Peres died in hospital on Saturday after suffering head injuries during a bout in Brazil two weeks ago.
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The amateur fighter from the Midwestern city of Peabiru fought in a K-1 competition in Maringa on September 11.
The 22-year-old reportedly complained of headaches after returning home from the fight and was taken to hospital by family members.
Peres' condition is said to have deteriorated and he was transferred to Hospital Metropolitano de Sarandi.
However tragedy struck on Saturday when he succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead.
A report into the tragedy is reportedly being prepared by the local medical authorities.
The young fighter's cause of death was listed as 'head trauma'.
According to local reports, Peres had only competed in one previous bout at amateur level, losing a fight in May.
The tragedy comes just weeks after an 18-year-old female boxer died in Canada after being knocked out in a bout.
Jeanette Zacarias Zapata died in hospital after she was hit with a number of heavy punches during the bout and suffered a seizure afterwards.
Zapata was in an induced coma for five days before she died.
Tragic death of Jeanette Zapata raises serious questions about boxing. At 18, she'd been a pro since start of 2018. No fight for three years after a KO. Then KOd again in May before tragic fight last weekend. Up against a fighter with much superior record. How was it sanctioned?
— Kieran Cunningham (@KCsixtyseven) September 3, 2021
Calls for greater care of athletes with head injuries
There have been numerous calls in recent years for better care of head injuries in MMA.
“We all know over the last few years the worries that come about because of head injuries and the worries that have come about with mild head injuries and mild concussion," said former World Rugby medical advisor Dr Barry O’Driscoll.
“And yet, here we are watching people left incapable after being hit around the head.
"What sort of a world are we living in?”
UFC boss Dana White previously said more can be done to help fighters who show signs of brain trauma.
White said earlier this year his organisation is committed to doing as much as they can in co-ordination with medical experts.
“Listen, we’re all learning everyday about the brain injury stuff,” White said in January.
“We’ve been invested in this [Lou] Ruvo Center [at the Cleveland Clinic] to try and figure out more.
"We’re now interested in this thing just came out on Real Sports about psychedelics and we’ve actually reached out to the Johns Hopkins guys and we’re diving into that.
“But listen, he’s not the first and he’s definitely not going to be the last.
"This is a contact sport and anybody who’s done this younger, myself included, is dealing with brain issues. It’s part of the gig.”
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