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Dustin Jenson, Amateur MMA Fighter, Dies After Unregulated South Dakota Event

YouTube Screenshot
YouTube Screenshot

Dustin Jenson, an MMA fighter, died in an unregulated event in South Dakota on May 18th, according to the Rapid City Journal.

The report states Jenson, 26, participated in Ring Wars 74 on May 18th at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center in Rapid City, South Dakota. In his bout with Hayden Hensrud, Jenson eventually tapped from a triangle choke. His mother-in-law, Violet Schieman, said Jensen was normal after his fight and even watched the following two fights on the card.

Jenson then returned to the locker room area to stretch when he moaned and reportedly suffered a seizure. An EMT was called to the scene and Jenson was eventually transported him to Rapid City Regional Hospital.

Schieman told the Rapid City Journal Jenson was placed in a medically induced coma to relieve pressure on his brain. Subsequent surgery to relieve the swelling was performed, but Jenson eventually died on May 24th.

"He did not wake up after the surgery and was declared brain dead at 10:23 a.m.," Schieman told the Rapid City Journal. "He remained on life support until his organs were donated."

The report states Jenson was participating in his fifth fight in less than a year. South Dakota does not have an athletic commission to regulate either professional or amateur mixed martial arts.

Jenson's friends have set up a website that accepts donations to help defray medical and funeral expenses.

Jenson becomes the third MMA fighter to die in the United States directly following MMA competition. Michael Kirkham, who was 30 years of age at the time of his death, died after his professional debut in South Carolina in 2010. Sam Vasquez died at the age of 35 after suffering a subdural hemorrhage in his third professional fight in Texas.

Video of Jenson's fight from May 18th is below (another angle of the fight can be seen here):

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