Disturbing new details have emerged after the death of British MMA star Jahreau Shepherd.
The 30-year-old’s death stunned the MMA world over the weekend, and it has since been revealed that Shepherd was stabbed to death at a family barbecue for his birthday.
‘EVERYONE KNOWS’: Ugly truth about Paige VanZant's UFC exit
The welterweight champion was found with stab wounds in South London at around 10pm on Saturday after celebrating with family and friends.
The Metropolitan Police have since launched a murder investigation into his death.
“A man has lost his life and a family has been left suffering unimaginable grief because of the callous use of a knife to inflict fatal injuries,” DCI Dave Whellams said.
“Officers who were called to the incident and then paramedics worked to save him, but tragically he died at the scene.
“I will do all I can to get justice for this family, and, along with colleagues from my homicide teams, I will use every available tactic to find whoever is responsible for this terrible attack.
“Our investigation is at an early stage, but we are already building a picture of what happened.
“I would urge any witnesses who have yet to speak to police to call my officers or contact Crimestoppers anonymously to share what they know.”
A second man, aged 26, was also treated for stab wounds but his injuries were not life-threatening.
GoFundMe launched to pay for Spepherd’s funeral
The managers of the British fighter have since appealed to raise £12,000 in funeral costs.
An appeal on GoFundMe reads: “In loving memory of Jahreau ‘Nightmare’ Shepherd we want to raise enough funds to give the champion the send off he deserves!”
“Alpha Talent Management (ATM) are raising money for funeral costs and to support his family during this time.
“We are reaching out to the UK MMA fraternity to come together and show some love for Jay, who has been such an integral part of this industry.
“If he has ever fought on your show, supported you, been in your corner, trained you, inspired you or simply blessed you with his infectious energy please show some love and support and donate today no matter how big or small.
“Our sincerest condolences go out to his family and friends. RIP Jay, we love you, will always miss you and will keep your memory alive forever.”
MMA world in shock over Shepherd’s death
Shepherd had a 6-2 record in professional MMA, five of his wins coming via knockout.
He was the welterweight champion with MMA promotion Contenders and previously fought in Bellator.
“Jay, our welterweight champion, was hugely talented and great fun to be around, a big personality with a huge smile and infectious laugh,” a spokesperson for Contenders said.
“Inside the cage, he was destined for the top — a champion in three different organisations with heavy hands and a warrior heart.”
Cousin Tanisha Shepherd said: “He lived and breathed fighting.
“He was so looking forward to the gym opening again after the lockdown and was lining up a fight.
“He had everything to live for. He helped keep the young people on the straight and narrow and was a role model.”
During the UFC broadcast and on his 30th birthday a wonderful brother and solid British domestic champion was murdered and stabbed to death. RIP Jahreau Shepherd may your journey continue in bliss 🙏🏾❤️. pic.twitter.com/IADZraJzjT— Jiu-Jitsu Strong (@bobbyrazak) July 12, 2020
🙏 RIP MMA fighter Jahreau Shepherd, who was tragically stabbed to death at his own birthday party on Saturday night— Gloves Up Knives Down (@knivesdown) July 14, 2020
This is horrific news, something has to be done. We need to all come together & try to put a stop to this madness.
Our prayers go out to Shepherd’s family. pic.twitter.com/vXQV7llBWh
Man, I’ve just seen the news of Jahreau “The Nightmare” Shepherd’s passing. Reports say he died as the result of a stabbing in south London. He was 30.— Chisanga Malata (@Chisanga_Malata) July 12, 2020
I only interacted with him on a few occasions but he was a great guy.
Awful, awful news. My heart goes out to his loved ones. pic.twitter.com/UO3UFTMFqX