Mixed martial artists around the Palmetto State are still trying to figure out what happened to cause the death of one of their own over the weekend.
Officials have not yet discovered a cause of death for 30-year-old Tyrone "Teesta" Mims, who died during a match in Mt. Pleasant.
The South Carolina Athletic Commission says the fighter passed a physical a few weeks before the fight and a ringside doctor gave him an exam before and after the fight.
Other fighters like Tim Goodwin just want to know if the sport had something to do with the mysterious death.
At first, mixed martial arts was merely a hobby for Goodwin. Now, training twice a day and six days a week, it's a lot more than that.
"I won my first four fights and I figured I might as well stick with it," Goodwin said.
Goodwin quickly went from amateur to pro, and in the cage turned into Tim "The Terror".
"If you look at it, it may seem like really rough, violent sport, but you also have to look at it -- it is multiple styles of martial arts, different combat sports, wrestling, boxing, kickboxing all mixed in so a lot more art and technique than most people realize," Goodwin said.
Mixed martial arts is an extremely physical sport where injuries are common, but fighters are required to go through an extensive medical evaluation before their match.
Outside the tests before every fight, doctors and EMTs have to be present at every fight.
Mark Mills trains MMA fighters at the Columbia Martial Arts and Fitness Center. He says severe injuries and death are infrequent.
"You have knee injuries, ankle injuries, a lot of shoulder injuries. In the fights, concussions, fractures and hand and knee injuries," Mills said.
Goodwin has broken his jaw and had his share of cuts and bruises.
"It's a hard sport, and essentially they're paying us to hurt each other," Goodwin said.
Goodwin and Mills both say the rules are designed to keep the sport safe, but athletes have to know the risk before they step into the cage.
Tuesday, June 18 2013 3:35 PM EDT2013-06-18 19:35:49 GMT
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