An initial autopsy performed on Tyrone "Teestea" Mims, an amateur fighter who died on Saturday night after competing at a regional fight show in South Carolina, has proven inconclusive, according to the Charleston County Coroner. Toxicology tests are pending.
Mims was stepping into the cage for the first time, and was competing at an event called "Fight Night at the Point VI." He allegedly suffered minimal damage during his bout, and witness accounts had him dominating throughout the first round. But Mims began appearing exhausted in the second round, and when the 30-year-old seemed unable to improve his position, the referee stopped the bout. Mims was taken backstage; when his condition deteriorated, he was taken to Medical University Hospital, where he died.
Mims, a Georgia resident, was taking part in a reality show titled "Georgia Boy's Grits-n-Glory." The show released the following statement:
One of the fighters, who happened to be our own Tyrone "Teestea" Mims, was fatally injured tonight, possibly as a result of his fight. The promoters and the South Carolina Fight Commission consulted with the fighters and all involved and decided as a result of the death of one of their own we should call off the rest of the fights. The promoters and the Athletic Commission did everything in their power according to protocol and this accident was beyond their control. We apologize for the inconvenience and hope you'll understand as we deal with the gravity of the situation. Our thoughts and prayers are with Teestea and his immediate family, which include his five children.
This is the second mixed martial arts-related death in South Carolina history. In 2010, amateur fighter Michael Kirkham died from a brain hemorrhage after suffering a knockout at an event in Aiken, S.C.
As per state regulation, amateur fighters must pass an eye exam, be screened for HIV and Hepatitis, and pass a cursory examination by a physician prior to getting in the cage. It is unknown if Mims had completed those requirements.