Warning: graphic photos and video contained in this story.
Amateur fighter Hunter Boone is resting and recovering after suffering a horrific gash across the top of his head due to an alleged cage malfunction at an event in Shawnee, Okla.
The injury occurred just seconds into the fight after Boone struck the cage door during a takedown, resulting in a wound that required 17 staples to close and the immediate stoppage of the bout. Boone’s opponent, Jordan Brown, was declared the winner.
MyMMANews was first to report the injury, which allegedly occurred in the video above, provided to MMA Fighting courtesy of Boone’s brother, Axton Boone.
“I’m doing OK,” Boone told MMA Fighting when reached for comment. “Taking my recovery day by day.”
After he received treatment at the hospital, Boone and his friends posted several images showing the damage done by the cage and the treatment he received the close the wound.
One of Boone’s coaches posted a photo alongside him at the hospital and described the scene as it happened during the fight.
“A few seconds after the bell rung Hunter and his opponent spun into the cage,” coach Jason Greer wrote on Facebook. “His opponent had a collar tie and as they hit the fence Hunter’s head slammed into the gate resulting in Hunter suffering a 20 centimeter gash across the front of his hairline from the left to the right, down the right side and towards the back basically scalping him.
“It knocked him unconscious immediately but he had regained consciousness before he hit the ground.”
The event was promoted by Martial Combat League. The organization released a statement on the incident and addressed the cage that caused the severe injury.
“We understand and appreciate everyone’s concern on what happened and our hearts are with the individual who was injured in this incident,” Martial Combat League officials wrote on Facebook. “We were in just as much shock as anyone when this occurred. We assembled our cage no differently than we have for each of our previous events. It is our understanding that the sanctioning commission of the event inspected the cage prior to the show. No issues with the cage where brought to our attention by the sanctioning commission.
“There was a very unfortunate event that occurred during a takedown near the door of our cage. How the injury occurred is still undetermined and there was no clear sign as to what or why this injury took place. After the cage was cleared of the incident, our cage was fully inspected by multiple individuals of the sanctioning commission and our cage was deemed necessary to continue. We don’t have an answer as to why this injury occurred and we’re, without a doubt, extremely sorry to the individual who suffered this injury. We’re not sure how or why concerns were brought up about us not taking care of the injured athlete, this certainly is not the case. We take required action and secure proper coverage to make certain qualified injuries occurred are covered prior to every event we promote.”
One of Boone’s training partners, Jesse Dalton, alleged that the injury was caused by “an exposed metal bracket on the cage.”