Retired UFC fighter turned analyst Alan Jouban took to Twitter to express his thoughts on the death of a BKFC fighter this week.
According to BKFC President Dave Feldman, via addicted to mmaJustin Thornton died of injuries sustained in a knockout loss at BKFC 20 in August.
Jouban having heard the news, expressed his dissatisfaction with the matchmaking, given the record and the age of Thorton.
“38-year-old man, record in reverse after 5 defeats in the first round against an 11-1 fighter who had already beaten him,” Joban tweeted. “Gets KOd, never recovers and dies.” It is not a sport to get paychecks and promoters need to be more responsible in these clashes. Prayers to his family “
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This is not the first fatality in combat sports this year. 18-year-old Mexican boxer Jeanette Zacarias Zapata died last month after being eliminated at IGA stadium in September.
“This morning we were very saddened to learn of the passing of one of our fighters, Justin Thornton, who competed in BKFC-20 on August 20, 2021,” Feldman said in a statement to MMA Junkie. “We join with the rest of the combat sports community in sending our deepest condolences to his family and loved ones.”
Thorton’s opponent Dillion Cleckler also commented on the death, citing pneumonia as the reason for his death.
As a fighter, nothing prepares you for the news I received this morning on the way to training ”, Cleckler wrote on Instagram. “Some of you may not have heard of it yet, but my last opponent, Justin Thornton, died of pneumonia last night. I can’t help but feel absolutely devastated about this because I’ve known Justin for years. Not many people know it but we fought 8 years ago and he immediately told me he wanted revenge. I know when he got the phone call to finally get that rematch on a bigger stage, he saw a huge opportunity and grabbed it. Justin is a warrior. It’s in his blood to fight. He loved her. He fought anyone, anytime, anywhere and when I didn’t have an opponent he still jumped at the opportunity to come back with me. Any man or woman that steps in the ring or the cage is special, they take a risk that 99.99% of the world would never take and sometimes I still don’t know why we do it … but Justin was a fighter his whole life and only deserves respect !!! My thoughts and prayers are with Justin Thornton and his family at this time. RIP warrior.
The knockout happened at BKFC 20 when Cleckler caught it with a right hook that let go in just 18 seconds. He has since been hospitalized on a ventilator.