Tragic news coming out of India where a kickboxer has died following a bout in Bangalore. Nikhil Suresh was competing at a tournament organized by the K-1 association of Karnataka last weekend.

Locker Room India has all the details:


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Not prepared

It seems the event organizers did not have a medical team ready and Suresh’s team has stated that ‘legal procedures have been initiated by the family’. He trains out of the Academy of Martial Science, a camp in Mysore which appears to offer training in kickboxing, Muay Thai and MMA.

He was described as a ‘talented and promising 125lbs fighter’ who was also a coach at the camp. He also had some amateur MMA experience and can be seen winning a fight here:

Unregulated sports

Vikram Mysore Nagaraj, who also coaches at the Academy of Martial Science, posted on Facebook that,

“Had there been an ambulance, trained medical staff and a standard fighting platform at the venue he wouldn’t have lost those precious golden moments when the tragedy struck and could have saved him from this agony.”

Deaths in combat sports do occur but, outside of traditional boxing, they are very rare. In 2019 a female kickboxer in the UK died after being knocked out at a bout in Southampton.

With no footage currently available it is unclear whether the fights were amateur or professional or if the kickboxers wore headgear and shin guards. It is also unclear what Nagaraj means when he refers to a ‘a standard fighting platform’ although this could meant there was not a proper ring.

Combat sports are popular in India but the scene is unregulated. There have not been any major kickboxing events there but MMA was popularized by the now defunct Super Fight League at the start of the last decade.

Last weekend there was a major brawl at Matrix Fight Night 9 and the promotion announced afterwards it was banning Afghan fighters from competing. There are clearly plenty of enthusiastic fighters in the country but this seems like a tragic reminder of the danger of fighting at events which don’t have the proper medical procedures in place.