HOME > Nigerian Mixed Martial Art Boxer, Felix Pablo Elochukwu Dies While Fighting In Toronto, Canada
Nigerian Mixed Martial Art Boxer, Felix Pablo Elochukwu Dies While Fighting In Toronto, Canada
All Felix Pablo Elochukwu wanted was a shot to represent Canada in the UFC. So, the 35-year-old mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter from Hamilton packed a bag and headed to Port Huron, in Michigan, USA, for his amateur debut last weekend.
Tragically, his first match was his last. The Nigerian-born athlete died after the third round when the fight was stopped because he was unable to defend himself. He initially showed no signs of serious injury, but later became unresponsive.
Paramedics couldn’t revive him and he was taken to hospital. It’s not clear whether he died in the ambulance or at the health centre.
“I remember seeing him a few weeks ago when we were celebrating his birthday, and he was actually talking about this fight,” Elochukwu’s friend, Jerry Igenu told Toronto Sun yesterday. “He was very optimistic. He thought this was going to be his breakthrough match and he would move up to the next level. He wanted to fight for Canada.”
Another friend, Nnamdi Orakwue, from Toronto, said Elochukwu came to Canada from Nigeria as a student at Memorial University of Newfoundland. In 2012, he moved to Hamilton because it was known as a tight-knit community where he could train at the highly regarded Joslin’s Martial Arts and be a part of the Ontario MMA scene. Elochukwu was close to his family, his mother, father and sister, who still reside in Nigeria, Orakwue said. They recently asked him to help send them a care package consisting of a watch, a pair of shoes, and a handbag.
According to Sportsnet, the first two rounds of the bout consisted primarily of grappling exchanges. However, Elochukwu showed signs of fatigue going into the third round. His opponent achieved full mount and began delivering “soft” hammer fists. The event was staged by the Amateur Fighting Club, which confirmed the tragic news on its Facebook page. “We lost a member of our MMA family and we would like to take this time to honour him,” the message said. An autopsy was conducted, but the cause of his death is yet to be determined.