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Extreme fighter dies in Jhb

Mixed Martial Arts fighter Booto Guylain died on Wednesday after suffering a severe head injury at an Extreme Fighting Championship in Johannesburg last week.

Guylain, from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, suffered a fatal blow in a tko (technical knockout) loss to Keron Davies at Carnival City last Thursday.

“We are devastated,” EFC Africa president Cairo Howarth said on the MMA website.

“This is a huge loss to the sport and to all who know him. Our thoughts are with his family in this trying time.”

Immediately after the bout, Guylain was stabilised by the on-site medical team and transported to hospital where he was treated for swelling and bleeding on the brain, MMA said on their website on Wednesday.

“Guylain received care from one of South Africa’s top neuro-surgical teams but tragically passed away today.”

Guylain was transported to the nearest hospital, Tambo Memorial, which did not have either a neurosurgeon or scanning equipment required for head trauma.

He was then taken by ER24 to the Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital where a radiologist was on standby, awaiting his arrival.

The scan took place around midnight after which Guylain was attended by a neurosurgical team.

ER24 spokeswoman Luyanda Majija said a medical response team was on standby for the event and present throughout the fight night.

“As soon as the fighter was injured, we took him to Tambo Memorial. It was at about 6.30 pm. He was transferred to the Joburg Gen (Charlotte Maxeke hospital) for a neurosurgeon,” she said.

“The transfer started at 8.30pm but it is not known what time he arrived at the Joburg Gen.”

Majija said ER24’s policy was to transport a patient medical aid or not first to nearest hospital, be it private or otherwise.

The delay between leaving the Brakpan hospital and arriving in Hillbrow could not be explained.

On the MMA website, Howarth said fatal injuries are extremely rare in the sport because of the emphasis on safety.

“Unfortunately, head trauma is sometimes a reality and very rarely fatalities can occur.”

EFC Africa had a disability policy in place and would be providing financial support to Guylain’s family.

The fighter was 29 years old and is survived by his wife and son.

All athletes competing at the next EFC Africa event, on March 27, would wear black armbands in Guylain’s memory.


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