Bare Knuckle Fighting Championships has issued a statement in the wake of BKFC 14 fighter Francesco Ricchi being placed in a medically induced coma after his fight this past weekend in Miami.
Ricchi’s opponent, Noah Cutter, first revealed the news on social media, sending well wishes after discovering Ricchi was hospitalized after their fight.
“Prayers and best wishes to my opponent Francesco,” Cutter wrote. “I’ve been informed he’s in the hospital in a medically induced coma due to bleeding in his lungs from a hematoma in his trachea due to a throat punch during the fight. Obviously accidental.
“We come out here to hurt each other but I never want to see this for an opponent. Prayers from my family. Heal up.”
After news of Ricchi’s hospitalization was first revealed by MyMMAShow.com, BKFC issued a statement to MMA Fighting via president David Feldman.
“First and foremost our thoughts are with Francesco and his family at this time as we pray for a quick and full recovery,” Feldman stated. “The injury did not deter Francesco from a victorious result on Friday night but complications during the surgery at the hospital have resulted in a greater issue to his health.”
According to BKFC officials, Ricchi took a punch to his trachea, but he still managed to secure a third-round stoppage victory in the fight. Afterward, he was taken to a local hospital for an examination, which BKFC officials stated led to a surgery and complications during that procedure ultimately affected his overall medical condition. At this time, Ricchi remains hospitalized following his surgery.
Promoters are required to carry fight-night insurance that covers medical treatment for fighters injured in competition; in Florida, the minimum coverage is $20,000 each for medical, surgical and hospitalization costs for each combatant. It’s unknown the extent of Ricchi’s coverage, but Feldman told MMA Fighting, “We will be there for Fransesco and his family if needed.”
A request for comment to the Florida State Boxing Commission, which oversaw the event this past Friday, was acknowledged but not immediately returned.