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View Full Version : 20-year-old man was paralyzed in Saturday night mma fight


MattHughesRocks
05-27-2009, 11:57 PM
OMAHA, Neb. -- A 20-year-old man was paralyzed Saturday night in Shenandoah, Iowa, after breaking his neck in a mixed martial arts fight.

Now, Zach Kirk and his family are engaged in another fight, one that will play out in hospital rooms and physical therapy centers as the family hopes for a miraculous recovery.

Doctors have operated on the injured vertebrae in his neck but they don't know if he'll walk again.

"Pretty much I observed my heart being broken, seeing him like that," said Kirk's mother, Diana Kirk.

With two fights under his belt, Kirk's goal was to become a professional fighter in a sport that has, justifiably or not, garnered a brutal reputation. But fighters said the sport is no more dangerous than other contact sports. Kirk agrees, and so does his mother. They don't blame the sport for what happened to him.

"It's a real safe sport," Kirk said. "You just got to watch what you're doing."

His mother said accidents happen "at any time and any place."

The family shared the video of the fight with KETV NewsWatch 7.

Kirk is seen on the left in red shorts. The fight begins and Kirk initiates action with a right jab at his opponent. The two get tangled. Kirk was using a double-leg takedown to slam his opponent on the mat. The opponent went into a defensive position and ended up landing on Kirk's head. His neck breaks.

"You can see as soon as he hit, he was lifeless, just a limp body," said Kirk's trainer, Adam Miller.

The opponent was unaware of Kirk's immobility and kept fighting. The referee realized the situation and intervened. In seven seconds, Kirk's life had changed dramatically.

"I knew I couldn't feel nothing," Kirk said from his hospital bed. "I was just scared -- scared from right there."

The family said Kirk has no medical insurance. Fellow fighters and friends have begun organizing a benefit to help defray costs. For more information, visit TormentMMA.com.

Kirk's mother is hopeful, and she said she's holding out hope for his recovery.

"It's just going to be a long road ahead," Diana Kirk said. "There's going to be a lot of physical therapy to go through, but we'll make it. We'll do it."

http://www.ketv.com/news/19578023/detail.html

Bonnie
05-28-2009, 12:32 AM
:cry:

That is just terrible that that happened. But, they are right, there are many sports that are way more dangerous than mixed martial arts.

Maybe he will be like that young football player from last year or the year before whose neck was broken and they didn't think he'd ever walk again but he did.

My heart goes out to him and his family and also to the young man who he was fighting. There is no blame here, but the other young man must feel awful that this happened.

Jason 16
05-28-2009, 02:44 AM
Ive seen more people get hurt just like that in geco matches then mma by far it seems to happen at least once every tourny I go to.:sad: I think because of luck more than any thing

Neezar
05-28-2009, 04:42 AM
Did you watch the video of the fight? :cry:


That is awful.

MattHughesRocks
05-28-2009, 05:14 AM
Just now. Made me feel kinda sick.Damn that poor kid :cry:

rockdawg21
05-28-2009, 01:06 PM
Wish I hadn't of watched that. The slam itself, you really couldn't tell but you can see his legs go limp and watch the other guy make the easy reversal and start punching away. Pretty sad.

http://www.ketv.com/video/19578129/index.html

County Mike
05-28-2009, 01:19 PM
Ive seen more people get hurt just like that in geco matches

Like lizard fighting? They seem so flexible.
http://billiea.files.wordpress.com/2009/02/geico_gecko.jpg

sender
05-28-2009, 05:41 PM
wow that really sucks. I just dont understand how that could break your neck though :(

sasquatch
05-28-2009, 09:04 PM
That's sad. I hope he can walk again someday.

Sometimes I worry about getting paralyzed when I'm at the gym or at the beach. You can get your neck broken in pretty much anything you do in life that's fun.

rockdawg21
05-28-2009, 10:10 PM
That's sad. I hope he can walk again someday.

Sometimes I worry about getting paralyzed when I'm at the gym or at the beach. You can get your neck broken in pretty much anything you do in life that's fun.
Sounds like you should avoid sex :laugh:

atomdanger
05-29-2009, 02:18 AM
Its weird it doesn't really say what happened to break his neck? O_o
very interesting.

But honestly.. more people die snowboarding, walking, driving, etc.....

Neezar
05-29-2009, 05:03 AM
Its weird it doesn't really say what happened to break his neck? O_o
very interesting.

But honestly.. more people die snowboarding, walking, driving, etc.....

Watch the video. The angle of the neck and then hitting the mat along with the pressure of the arm.....Snap!

Bonnie
05-29-2009, 05:37 AM
Watch the video. The angle of the neck and then hitting the mat along with the pressure of the arm.....Snap!

I see where he goes down but I don't actually see him hitting the mat even when I full-sized the video. But, I was thinking like you said when they went down his head hitting and that guy holding on and his head probably snapping back up and that did it. :cry:

Do any of you remember several years ago when they showed where grown men were getting paralyzed when they were sliding on their kids' Slip-n-Slides? The doctors explained that for kids when they ran and threw themselves down and slid their bones are still "soft", I guess, plus their weight is lighter; but, with a grown man when he would run and belly-flop down the force of his body (with his weight) hitting the ground would cause his neck/head to whip back breaking his neck paralyzing him. :sad:

I figured maybe some of the same "mechanics" were at work here. :unsure:

cheachea
05-29-2009, 07:12 PM
This really sucks. I prayed for this guy as soon as a read this. I pray he will recover.

gymcoach97
05-30-2009, 08:44 PM
I'm seen a couple of instances in the UFC where guys have been virtually slammed on their heads in such a scenario. The one that comes to mind is the Gray Maynard - Rob Emerson no-contest fight when Maynard knocked himself out with a slam while also hurting Emerson.

Also, if any of you have ever seen the Fedor v. Kevin Randleman fight, Fedor gets slammed on his head. Of course, he gets back up and eventually submits Randleman because he's Fedor.

Unfortunately, it's a very real possibility. With that said, freakish things can happen in virtually any physical and/or contact sport. I guarantee that there are more neck injuries in football than MMA. Even in baseball or basketball, I've seen neck injuries...guys colliding at home or running into the outfield wall (baseball) or guys getting undercut and landing on their neck (basketball).