Brain damage feared after amateur MMA fighter Isaiah Abels collapses in cage


Isaiah Abels, a 21-year-old amateur MMA fighter collapsed in the cage during a recent Southern Indiana Combat Production fight card at The Coliseum in downtown Evansville, IN, on March 4.

According to 44 News, Abels collapsed to his knees during the second round of the fight. On-site medical staff administered CPR to the unconscious fighter for several minutes before he was transported to a local hospital in Evansville via ambulance.

A few days after Abels collapsed in the cage, a fundraiser was established for his medical care. According to that page, the young fighter went into cardiac arrest during what was his third amateur MMA bout.

A March 8 update to that page reported that an MRI showed brain damage due to a lack of oxygen for three to five minutes. On March 10, doctors inserted a tracheotomy tube into Abels’ throat and a feeding tube into his stomach to prepare him for transfer to a long-term care facility. As of March 14, Abels was showing some signs of recovery, while waiting for a bed to open up for long-term care.

2023 being what it is, the family also issued a statement addressing the fighter’s COVID-19 vaccination status, and potential conspiracy theories surrounding it in a post on Facebook.

People assuming Isaiah is vaccinated are wrong. He didn’t receive the shot. He is a healthy fighter doing 2 a day practices. Traveling and training with the best fighters and coaches in Indiana. Not to mention his balls are bigger than the people for simply stepping into the cage. Most of you will never experience the intensity of a fight. Let alone experience being punched in the face.

Some people were asking honestly and some people just wanted to be “right”. I’m sorry for people who genuinely asked, but for the others who are focused on arguing about a vaccine can argue their points somewhere else. Isaiah is not vaccinated.

You can put your minds to rest as the people who actually love and support Isaiah will continue to motivate him.

The Southern Indiana Combat Production fight promotion issued a statement of their own as well.

We thank everyone for showing your support through this whole situation.

First, we want to wish a speedy recovery to Isaiah Abels in hopes that he can regain all strength and abilities as quick as possible. To him and his family, we will be keeping you all in our thoughts and prayers.

Next, we want to thank the cage side doctors and first responders who worked briskly to provide care to Isaiah. You are greatly appreciated.

To our fans, we thank you for attending the event last night, in person or by ppv. Please hold all ticket stubs and receipts, and stay tuned for more information. We want to thank all who were in attendance last night for the overwhelming support shown to our fighters and your understanding and patience in the matter. Please continue to keep Isaiah and his family in your thoughts and prayers.

Thank you

SICP Family

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