Dhafir “Dada 5000” Harris will not be making his return to action in November after all.
On Monday, BYB Extreme announced that the veteran street fighter would be coming back to compete as part of a card taking place in Tampa, Fla., on Nov. 19. The matchup was set to serve as Harris’ first action since he fought Kimbo Slice in Bellator back in 2016, which resulted in a loss and an eventual trip to the hospital where he suffered a cardiac arrest.
Despite the announcement made by the promotion, the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation has shut down Harris competing in the state due to an indefinite suspension that he was issued in Texas after the medical emergency following his last fight.
“Dhafir Harris is currently indefinitely suspended by the Texas Athletic Commission. Mr. Harris will not be competing at the event in November,” Florida commission representatives said in an email to MMA Fighting.
Harris, 45, was under an indefinite suspension in Texas, which is where the fight with Kimbo took place under the Bellator banner. On that night, Harris suffered a third-round TKO in a contest that saw both athletes exhausted after some early exchanges on the feet. Afterward, Harris was rushed to the hospital for medical treatment and he later revealed that he suffered two heart attacks and was actually considered medically dead for a few moments as doctors fought to save his life.
“When I actually fell inside that ring, Kimbo Slice never touched me,” Harris said on The Dan LeBatard Show in 2016. “I had a heart attack. So, when I slammed against the cage and I went down, that was just the beginning.
“The heart is a muscle, so when the kidneys shut down and I’m still pushing, the next thing to go was the heart. So when my heart stopped, it’s like, I was out of it. I didn’t remember nothing. When they brought me back, I was inside the hospital and they said that I had two heart attacks — and this is on paper we can provide to you guys. I had two heart attacks and I [flat-lined] twice.”
Harris also suffered kidney failure as a result of a condition called Rhabdomyolysis — a syndrome that “results from the death of muscle fibers and release of their contents into the bloodstream” — that further endangered his health.
According to Harris, he was required to stay on dialysis due to the kidney failure as he also recovered from cardiac arrest.
Following that fight in 2016, the Texas commission placed Harris on an indefinite suspension as a result of his severe medical issues, and that served as his last appearance in combat sports until the announcement of his attempted comeback.
Now it appears those plans have been shelved, at least for the card happening in Florida, as the athletic commission there will not allow Harris to compete.
UPDATE: BYB has now issued a statement regarding Dada 5000’s status with confirmation that his bout on Nov. 19 has been cancelled.
“Unfortunately, despite BYB providing multiple positive results from his EKG, bloodwork, vision and MRI, the Texas commission has yet to lift Dada 5000’s indefinite suspension ahead of his planned return on Nov. 19. In the interest of fairness to him and his opponent (as to not leave their match status open-ended, we have decided to postpone the bout, setting our sights on a later date and allowing the process to work itself out. Once due diligence is done, we are confident that the commissions will be satisfied.”