There was a ton wrong with the Bellator 149 co-main event between Kevin “Kimbo Slice” Ferguson and Dhafir “Dada 5000” Harris, but well beyond the quality of the fight itself was the fact that someone in Harris’ particular physical condition was allowed to compete in the first place.
The failure of the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation to delve in any way into his physical condition may have led to the end result, which was reportedly a near death experience in the hospital after the fight.
That’s according to Bleacher Report’s Jeremy Botter on Twitter, who posted that Harris’ heart stopped after he was transported to the hospital following the fight.
BREAKING: Multiple sources confirm Dhafir Harris was in critical condition overnight. His heart stopped and he was placed on a ventilator.
— Jeremy Botter (@jeremybotter) February 20, 2016
The Harris family released a statement through Bellator officials revealing that Harris cut 40 lbs. in order to be under the 265 lb. heavyweight limit for the fight, and had serious complications because of that cut afterward. They didn’t reveal anything to the extent of Botter’s report, but did claim Harris was now “recovering nicely.”
Their statement below:
The Harris Family would like to inform Dada’s friends and fans that Dada is ok and resting comfortably in a Houston area Hospital under the care of an incredible staff of doctors and nurses.
The doctors have now informed us that Dada had accumulated extremely high levels of potassium in his blood which led to severe dehydration, fatigue and renal failure. The high potassium levels were likely caused by his 40lbs weight loss in preparation for the fight.
Thanks to the EMTs and doctors, Dada is now recovering nicely.
Dada showed the heart of a lion in the cage- not backing down throughout. He worked extremely hard preparing for the fight and stepped forward for 3 rounds against a tough veteran. He kept digging through the adversity- leaving it all in the cage for his fans and supporters. You can never take that away from him.
We’d like to thank all those who have supported Dada as well as express our sincere appreciation to Scott Coker, and the good people at Bellator and Spike who have been on-site to visit Dada and support the family.
We ask for the public and media to respect Dada’s privacy as he recovers.
Penick’s Analysis: It was bad enough for the fight to have been booked by Bellator in the first place, but to actually then sanction someone like Harris with limited pro experience for a spot like this with what then became serious health issues afterward turns it from a complete joke into a near tragedy. The state of Texas and Bellator themselves shoulder the blame for that, and could have had something even worse on their hands. It’s shameful that they put that fight on at all, and with this being the result that makes things worse. All involved should feel lucky he made it through, and despite anything said about the fight and fighter himself, I sincerely hope he recovers well and doesn’t suffer any permanent issues out of that. He took an opportunity given, didn’t know what to do with a spot like that, and this is the result, but that still remains in many ways on the promotion and the commission for allowing for that to happen in the first place.
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