Indian MMA fighter dies following KO loss

An Indian MMA fighter passed away from injuries sustained during a kickboxing event in Bangalore, India. Nikhil Suresh was competing in a tournament organized…

By: Karim Zidan | 11 months ago
Indian MMA fighter dies following KO loss
Bloody Elbow 2.0 | Anton Tabuena

An Indian MMA fighter passed away from injuries sustained during a kickboxing event in Bangalore, India.

Nikhil Suresh was competing in a tournament organized by the K1 Association of Karnataka. During one of his matches, he was dealt a fierce blow that knocked him unconscious and sent him tumbling onto the canvas. Suresh was hospitalized shortly thereafter but succumbed to his injuries and died on Wednesday, July 13.

Suresh’s coach, Vikram Nagaraj, broke the news on social media.

“With profound sadness, I shoulder the burden of breaking the terrible news that we all dreaded. My boy Nikhil decided to hang his gloves today,” Nagaraj said on Instagram. “His beautiful soul left us behind after a hard-fought battle in the early hours of today in spite of the best medical attention. He will be etched eternally on our hearts and memories. I am shattered beyond words by my loss. Today I have lost a son. We pray almighty to give us all enough strength to bear the unbearable. My deepest condolences,” the caption read.

While Suresh was in critical condition in the hospital, his coach stated on social media that the organization did not have trained medical personnel or facilities available at the venue. He also added that Suresh would not have been in such a state if he had gotten immediate medical attention.

“My boy Nikhil is in a critical state of health post a knock out suffered at the K1 Kickboxing championship organized by K1 association of Karnataka on 9th and 10th of July 2022 in Bangalore,” Nagaraj said. “Had there been an ambulance, trained medical staff and a standard fighting platform at the venue he wouldn’t have lost those precious golden moments when the tragedy struck and could have saved him from this agony.

“This cries for a major overhaul in the mindset of organizers and associations to follow safety protocols which are already in place for combat sports.”

Nikhil’s team has indicated that legal processes have been begun by the family against the K1 Association.

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About the author
Karim Zidan
Karim Zidan

Karim Zidan is a investigative reporter and feature writer focusing on the intersection of sports and politics. He has written for BloodyElbow since 2014 and has served as an associate editor since 2016. He also writes for The New York Times and The Guardian. Karim has been invited to speak about his work at numerous universities, including Princeton, and was a panelist at the South by Southwest (SXSW) film festival and the Oslo Freedom Forum. He also participated in the United Nations counter-terrorism conference in 2021. His reporting on Ramzan Kadyrov’s involvement in MMA, much of which was done for Bloody Elbow, has led to numerous award nominations, and was the basis of an award-winning HBO Real Sports documentary.

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