Also, Kirkham's death is currently under investigation by the Aiken County Coroner's Office as a standard procedure for any death within the county. Coroner Tim Carlton confirmed to MMAFighting.com Monday that Kirkham was transported to the Aiken Regional Medical Center and was pronounced dead of a brain hemorrhage Monday morning. An official autopsy was scheduled for Tuesday.
Mixed martial arts was regulated in the state of South Carolina on July 1, 2009. All MMA fighters -- and boxers -- wishing to compete on a fight card must submit an original or certified lab report indicating that the competitor is HIV, Hepatitis B and C negative. Also, the fighter must complete an ophthalmologic (eye) exam as well as a physical by a doctor.
Kirkham competed on a Dash Entertainment and King MMA co-promoted "Confrontation at the Convocation Center" event at the USC Aiken Convocation Center. In the fight, Kirkham was taken down early and stopped by ground and pound punches. Kirkham would not regain consciousness and was attended to by doctors inside the ring before being transferred to the hospital.
The card was sanctioned by the International Sport Karate Association.