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LFA fighter C.J. Hancock says he died in cage, was revived after heart stopped

CJ Hancock collapsed during an LFA fight Friday night and had to be revived by doctors and paramedics.
Mike Jackson, LFA

A Legacy Fighting Alliance fighter said he died in the cage during a bout Friday night and had to be revived after his heart stopped.

C.J. Hancock wrote Saturday morning on Facebook that he is “okay” after his heart stopped and he had kidney failure during a fight at LFA 26 on Friday in Houston.

“Well I died tonight in the cage,” Hancock wrote. … “They did CPR and hit me with the EKG twice and brought me back.”

Hancock, 32, went on that he doesn’t know why it happened and that he had a hard weight cut. He said doctors told him he should not fight again. He said he still plans on doing Brazilian jiu-jitsu competitions and superfights when he is back to normal health.

“I’m broken,” he wrote. “I guess I’ll just be a coach from now on.”

Clovis “C.J.” Hancock

Hancock’s girlfriend Christine Ross wrote Saturday morning on Facebook that Hancock was resting and nurses at Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital in Houston had hooked him up with a fourth IV bag to treat “severe dehydration.” Ross said he was sore and had re-opened battle scars from past fights, but she expects him to make a full recovery.

Hancock (2-2) fought Charlie Ontiveros on the prelims of the card at Arena Theatre and Ontiveros was rewarded with a second-round TKO when Hancock collapsed. Steven Wright, a well-respected MMA striking coach in attendance, said Hancock fell down from “fatigue” and was not knocked down with a blow.

In a statement sent to MMA Fighting, LFA CEO Ed Soares said Hancock actually fell seconds after he was on the receiving end of a body kick.

"It's a very unfortunate situation where C.J. Hancock took a body kick during his fight,” Soares said in the statement. “After the kick landed, there was a few second delay, and then he collapsed in the cage. Our cutman David Maldonado immediately recognized the problem and signaled to the medical team sitting cageside. They were able to resuscitate and stabilize C.J. and took him to the hospital via ambulance where they determined he had suffered kidney failure. C.J. is currently recovering and in the company of his friends and family."

Hancock made weight at 170.5 pounds Thursday at weigh-ins. The Texas native fought on the amateur level as high as 205 pounds.

Requests for comment from the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation (TDLR), which oversees the state’s combat sports program, were not immediately returned Saturday morning.

A similar thing happened to Dhafir Harris, better known as Dada 5000, during a Bellator fight with Kimbo Slice in April 2016. Harris at the time said he was presumed dead after collapsing in the cage and suffered cardiac arrest, severe dehydration, fatigue and renal failure. That bout also happened in Houston.

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