Charleston County Coroner Rae Wooten said Friday that a lengthy, intensive investigation has failed to reveal why mixed martial arts fighter Tyrone Mims died after an August bout in Mount Pleasant.
Wooten said investigators conducted numerous tests, exams and drug scans and came up with no explanation for why Mims fell ill and died.
“We spent a lot of time trying to overturn every stone in this, but we could not find an explanation,” she said.
Mims, a 30-year-old father of five from Augusta, died after fighting Blake Poore of Charleston at the Omar Shrine Convention Center in Mount Pleasant.
Observers said Mims appeared fine during the fight, other than getting tired, but collapsed in the locker room afterward and soon died.
Mims was not injured in the ring, but the referee stopped the fight in the second round because Mims was taking punches and kicks and was unable to free himself.
When the bout ended, Mims smiled and told ringside physician Dr. Lance Davis he was OK but needed rest. He answered questions coherently. With help, he walked into the locker room where he removed his gloves and drank water.
Within minutes, Mims began talking gibberish and breathing heavily. He passed out.
Paramedics tried to resuscitate him, but he died an hour later at Medical University Hospital.
Davis said he was surprised that nothing was found at autopsy to explain Mims’ sudden death.
“Both at ringside and now at autopsy there was no sign of actual trauma such as a punch or a kick that caused him to have trouble,” he said.
“I can only make a professional guess that the exertion itself was related to his death and this could have occurred in any sport where extreme exertion is required,” he said.
“I do not think that this case really can tell us much about the specific safety of mixed martial arts versus other forms of sport that require high exertion,” he said.