Joao Carvalho, a mixed-martial arts (MMA) fighter from Portugal, has died in hospital after suffering head injuries during his MMA bout in Dublin, Ireland.
The 28-year-old Portuguese fighter complained of feeling unwell after he was knocked out by Irishman Charlie Ward. Total Extreme Fighting (TEF), which staged the MMA event at Dublin National Stadium, announced Carvalho’s death after undergoing brain surgery on Monday night.
Carvalho was rushed to the hospital and had undergone emergency brain surgery on Saturday night but died on Monday evening after 48 hours in intensive care unit.
Team Nobrega, Carvalho’s MMA team, said that it was “saddened and dismayed” about the death of Carvalho. The team also stressed that “all safety regulations were observed” in Dublin. Reports said that Carvalho has become ill around 20 minutes after the end of the fight.
John Kavanagh, who coaches former UFC champion McGregor and was in Charlie Ward’s corner, said in a statement, via the KWWL.com. “It is with heavy hearts that we mourn the passing of Portuguese fighter Joao Carvalho.”
It is with heavy hearts that we mourn the passing of Portuguese fighter Joao Carvalho. On Saturday, April 9, the… https://t.co/CPwXh7lZbz
— Coach Kavanagh (@John_Kavanagh) April 12, 2016
A statement from Total Extreme Fighting read:
“We extend our most sincere condolences to the family of Joao Carvalho, and to his teammates in Team Nobrega,” TEF chief executive Cesar Silva said, via the KWWL.com.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with them. We’d also like to thank all sports fans for their concern and support.”
The TEF statement also said that it would “give whatever support we can to Joao’s family” and noted that the fighter had been admired on both “a national and international level.”
Conor McGregor, a former UFC featherweight champion and a team-mate of Carvalho’s opponent CharlieWard, paid tribute to Carvalho on his official Facebook page.
Total Extreme Fighting, which organized the fight, said it was deeply saddened by the news of Mr. Carvalho’s death.
“We extend our most sincere condolences to the family of Joao Carvalho’s and his teammates in Team Nobrega,” Cesar Silva, chief executive at Total Extreme Fighting (TEF), said in a statement, via the WDBJ7.
The MMA’s popularity has increased in Ireland since McGregor’s rise to stardom. The MMA fights in Dublin regularly attract thousands of fans and media coverage.
Photo Courtesy: Facebook/Conor McGregor