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MMA fighter: ‘I died tonight in the cage’

CJ Hancock says that his heart stopped and he suffered kidney failure after weight cut

American mixed-martial arts fighter Clovis “CJ” Hancock says he temporarily “died” in the arena during a fight on Friday. Photograph: Getty Images

An American mixed-martial arts fighter says he temporarily “died” in the arena after his heart stopped and he suffered kidney failure during a fight on Friday.

Clovis “CJ” Hancock collapsed in a preliminary round of the Legacy Fighting Alliance, an American mixed-martial arts competition based in Texas, and had to be revived by ringside medical staff.

According to Hancock, paramedics restarted his heart twice after he fell during his fight in the Arena Theatre in Houston. After being taken to hospital, doctors diagnosed him with kidney failure and dehydration.

On Sunday night, Hancock said he was recovering well after doctors injected him with eight bags of saline solution.

“I died tonight in the cage”, he posted to Facebook. “My heart stopped, and I had kidney failure, they did CPR and hit me with the defibrillator twice and brought me back.

“Doc says I shouldn’t fight again. I’m broken. I guess I’ll just be a coach from now on.”

The 32-year-old said he had been undergoing a “hard weight cut” to qualify for the fight, which he said may have led to his collapse. At the time of the welterweight fight, Hancock weighed 77kg (170 lb).

During his recovery, he commented on Facebook that: “I cut too much weight, my heart stopped and my kidneys failed. (Doctors) said I was severely dehydrated.”

The CEO of the Legacy Fighting Alliance, Ed Soares, said Hancock collapsed after he sustained a body kick from his opponent, Charlie Ontiveros.

“After the kick landed, there was a few second delay, and then he collapsed in the cage,” he said in a statement.

“Our cutman David Maldonado immediately recognised the problem and signalled to the medical team sitting cageside. They were able to resuscitate and stabilise CJ and took him to the hospital via ambulance where they determined he had suffered kidney failure.”

The Legacy Fighting Alliance has been contacted for comment.

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