'Very sad news': World rocked by fighter's tragic death at 38

Pictured here, MMA veteran Justin Thornton has died several weeks after suffering a brutal KO in a fight.
MMA veteran Justin Thornton died at the age of 38 after suffering injuries from a vicious knock out in August. Pic: Facebook

Fight fans have been rocked by the tragic news that MMA veteran Justin Thornton has died weeks after suffering a horrific knockout in the United States.

He was just 38 years old.

Thornton was knocked out cold by Dillon Cleckler during his Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship (BKFC) debut bout in Mississippi in August.

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The veteran fighter collapsed to the canvas seconds into the fight after taking several vicious blows to the head and face.

After lying motionless inside the ring for several minutes while medical staff attended to him, the American heavyweight was rushed to hospital with serious injuries.

Justin Thornton is seen here at a weigh-in before his Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship debut.
Justin Thornton was rushed to hospital after being knocked out in his Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship debut. Pic: Twitter

A September 23rd post on Thornton's Facebook page detailed the extent of the fighter's condition, with his injuries leaving him partially paralysed.

Thornton also required assistance breathing and suffered an infection in his lungs and spinal cord.

His partner Amber Willard revealed at the time that the fighter was awake and in good spirits, with hopes he would recover from the brutal incident.

It's not immediately clear what Thornton's cause of death was or the reasons behind his sudden decline.

BKFC President Dave Feldman confirmed Thornton's tragic passing in a statement on social media.

"This morning we were very saddened to be notified of the passing of one of our fighters, Justin Thornton, who competed at BKFC 20 on August 20, 2021," Feldman said.

"We join the rest of the combat sports community in sending our deepest condolences to his family and loved ones."

Fight fans rocked by tragic news

The awful news rocked the MMA community as fans paid tribute to the fighter on social media.

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