Dhafir “Dada 5000” Harris is currently in stable condition after suffering a major medical scare that hospitalized the fighter after his loss to Kevin "Kimbo Slice" Ferguson at Bellator 149.
Harris was initially sent to the hospital for what appeared to be extreme fatigue after his third-round TKO loss to Ferguson. But his situation only worsened from there as his heart reportedly stopped and he was placed on ventilator. After being resuscitated by a doctor at a nearby Houston hospital, Harris remained in critical care but appears to be doing much better as his condition has now been labeled as stable.
Bleacher Report’s Jeremy Botter was first to report Harris’ health scare following the co-featured bout with his longtime rival. There was concern that Harris may not survive through the night but the 38-year-old is currently in recovery.
Bellator released a statement Saturday afternoon from the Harris family regarding his condition that stated that he is “resting comfortably” in a Houston-area hospital. According to the statement, Harris 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 40-lbs. weight loss in preparation for the fight.”
It was only Harris’ third professional mixed martial arts fight, and first since 2011, after spending years cultivating the street fighting scene in Miami’s Dade County. Harris was the subject of the documentary “Dawg Fight” and had formed a rivalry with fellow Miami street brawler and YouTube sensation-turned-MMA fighter, Kimbo Slice. The heated rivalry culminated at Bellator 149 in a forgettable fight where both fighters were extremely fatigued by the time Harris stumbled away and landed face first on the canvas as exhaustion was more so the culprit than any punch Slice threw.
But considering that Harris had never fought at this level, there can be a considerable amount of blame placed on how he mishandled his weight cut that led to the health scare. Prior to the fight, Harris was required to provide the Texas Department of Licensing and Registration with both EKG and EEG exams before he would be cleared to fight. Even though he was cleared, the street fighting legend still needed to shed 40 pounds to get to the 265-pound heavyweight limit for the fight and the toll it took on his body was simply too much.
He remained down in the cage after the fight was stopped and was carted away on a stretcher to the backstage area where he received oxygen before being transported to a nearby hospital. Things took a turn for the worse when his heart stopped at the hospital – refuting some reports that Harris suffered cardiac arrest in the cage – but it appears that he’ll make a full recovery.