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Mixed Martial Arts Fighter Sam Vasquez Dies of Injuries Sustained in Bout

Mixed martial arts fighter Sam Vasquez died Friday, apparently of injuries he suffered during a fight five weeks ago, making him the first person ever killed in a sanctioned mixed martial arts fight.

Although the Houston Chronicle reports that the cause of death is still to be determined, Vasquez had been hospitalized since he was knocked out by Vince Libardi in the third round of a fight on Oct. 20 at the Toyota Center in Houston. He was knocked unconscious and suffered a seizure after the fight, and suffered a massive stroke while hospitalized.

Some will no doubt react to the death of Vasquez by calling for mixed martial arts to be banned. But a more appropriate reaction to this tragedy would be to institute stricter regulations and greater safety measures. There are risks inherent to mixed martial arts, and while those risks can't be eliminated, they can be reduced.

The 35-year-old Vasquez was fighting his third professional MMA fight. He leaves behind a wife and 7-year-old son.

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