Adrienne Simmons, a 30-year-old kickboxer, died on Monday after suffering a devastating blow during a competition the day before, the Orlando Sentinel reports. Simmons, who lived in Atlanta, was in Florida for an event sponsored by the International Kickboxing Federation.
It is not immediately clear whether adequate medical staff were on hand during the fight. According to the Sentinel, "a referee ended the bout immediately and doctors sitting ringside were in the ring right away" as soon as Simmons lost consciousness. But WFTV reports that the fighter's boyfriend and trainer "were upset because there was no medical staff at the fight."
Eric Haycraft, who coached Simmons' opponent in the fatal match, posted a lengthy note to Facebook after the injury occurred. Scroll down to read his message.
Lindsay and I had wanted to wait for more official announcements about the tragic turn of events this weekend at the IKF Kickboxing tournament in Orlando. It seems that several websites are already mentioning the event and of course facebook has exploded with rumors and comments. We have known Adrienne for a number of years. I have many ties with the entire Atlanta fight scene and the ladies had been following each other both at fights and online.
There were five girls in the Open division of the 130-140 Muay Thai. Lindsay had to fight three times over the weekend and Adrienne fought twice to meet each other on Sunday in the finals. Adrienne had a very tough fight on Saturday to get her to her finals match.
The bout itself seemed normal enough on all fronts. Lindsay, the more experienced of the two, took control of the bout scoring an eight count on the very first jab thrown. Several seconds later a standing eight count was given and the round drew to a close. Round two continued with more of the same, however Adrienne never stopped trying and never gave up. No eight counts this round. The third round opened up and Lindsay landed a three punch combo that ended the bout. The ref waived the bout off immediately and the doctors who were already sitting ringside watching the bout were in the ring right away.
It really just seemed like a normal bout. It was a heavy shot but everyone involved from the ref to the doctors and officials and myself had no reason to believe there was anything abnormal except a fighter getting their bell rung like we all have had at some point in our careers.
Adrienne came to, we were right there as she sat up and spoke. Confirming our thoughts that this was to be no different than any other bout ending blow. Adrienne was taken to the back and attended to by the medical staff and we took care of the stuff we had to after the bout such as photos and such.
We shortly after were told along with everyone that Adrienne had been airlifted out.
The events that unfold from here are very sad and in my twenty years of kickboxing I am ill prepared to explain or even handle well. We have had opportunities to speak with the ref, the doctors all the ringside officials and the burden and second guessing after the case is huge. Our sadness and inability to properly process all these events leaves us with no words.
My only hope is that Chike has the same support network in his community that we have here in ours and that he will have it in his heart to let us be a part of his extended support network. This is a life changing event for all involved but obviously most of all for Chike and Adrienne.
We love this sport with all our hearts. It is a game with risks and while we all know this, these risks seem so far removed. Let me make this clear...no one could have seen this coming. The ref, the doctors, us, her corner. No one. It is a horrible accident that happened at a sporting event.
We do not have all the latest news from Florida and until it is officially announced by Adrienne's people please please be respectful of the things that are posted. It is a very sad day. We love you Adrienne.
With Heavy Hearts,
Eric and Lindsay