Saeideh Aletaha was critically injured while competing in an amateur mixed martial arts in England on Saturday night. Aletaha, known as ‘Sai’ was amateur kickboxer who died after suffering a brain injury during a bout with Fast and Furious Fight Series in Southampton.
A South Central Ambulance Service spokesman said an ambulance was sent to Central Hall to answer a call shortly after 8.50pm GMT on Saturday reporting that a participant in a martial arts event had collapsed.
The 26-year old competitor was taken to Southampton General Hospital with a brain injury shortly before 9:00 GMT on Saturday. Hampshire Police Department officials said they have launched an investigation into exactly what happened.
The FFFS promotion released a statement on Facebook:
“Following the show Saturday we regret to announce that following one of our matches, one of the competitors, Sai Aletaha from Lookborai who lost, unfortunately suffered an injury leaving her in a critical state that she tragically has not recovered from.
All competitors get in prepared that they may be injured and this is something not expected to happen 99.9% of the time.
But, it can and in this we make the environment as safe as possible with pre and post medicals from a Doctor, and full medical cover through out with Doctor, Paramedic and Ambulance on site alongside our experienced team of staff with numerous first aiders, safety is not something ever skimped on in any of our 19 shows and all matches are made equal.
Thoughts of course go out to all family, friends and team mates, if anyone needs any support please come to us or your coaches.
Thank you to our team on the night who acted with utmost professionalism and carried their duties out above and beyond to react to the situation, and again we are here for any of you that needs it in this sad time.”
Stonehenge CrossFit gym staff members said Sai had been a member for more than three years and was “popular, kind and liked by everyone”.
Owner Scott Healey said: “It’s testament to her popularity that friends camped out at the hospital for the day while her family was contacted.
“She took part in competitions, was friends with all she met, had time for everybody and was a tireless worker when she trained.”
Former UFC fighters Rosi Sexton, also a member of the English MMA Association (EMMAA) Board, said she had been given information about what happened.
In a statement, she said: “…there doesn’t appear to be anything obviously untoward about the match itself, or the way that the incident was handled afterwards.
“I am told that there was a doctor and a paramedic onsite who handled the medical care and transfer to hospital.
“With so many people participating in combat sports of various kinds week in, week out, up and down the country, this is a very rare, but tragic event.”
She added: “Having spoken to someone involved, I know that everyone is just in shock at the moment, and I can only imagine how they must be feeling right now.”
RIP Saeideh Aletaha