Friends of MMA fighter Tyrone Mims come together for family

Tyrone Mims during production of Georgia Boys: Grits n' Glory (Courtesy: Gil Laury)

By Sandra Ecklund & Chris

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) -- Details surrounding the death of a mixed martial arts fighter shows a trained athlete, struck down just as he was getting his life together.

A mixed martial arts fight, called "Fight Night at the Point 6" was held by Conflict MMA Promotions and took place at the Omar Shrine Center at Patriots Point Saturday night.

According to the Charleston County Coroner, 30-year-old Tyrone Mims of Augusta, GA collapsed after his fight, was taken to the hospital and died.

Richard Seidlitz is the production manager of "Georgia Boys: Grits n' Glory," a reality show that featured Tyrone Mims, also known as Teesta, as one of a team of MMA fighters out of Augusta. He was front and center as the scene unfolded and he spoke with ABC News 4's Chris Hauff about that night.

"When he went into the fight, he was doing great," said Seidlitz. "He was pretty much dominating the fight and partways through, I think it was the second round, he looked like he just got completely gassed."

It was then that Seidlitz says officials stopped the fight.

"The ref asked all the clarity questions to make sure the fighter was ok. He answered perfectly fine. He smiled, he said 'yeah I'm just tired, that's it.'"

Seidlitz says after they brought Mims out of the ring, his condition seemed to deteriorate. They called in the medics to look at him and then the doctor and then EMTs but Seidlitz says Mims{} just kept getting worse.

But no one seems to know why.

"He didn't take any severe blows that would have done this," said Seidlitz. "His team members all said the same thing about his training. There was no reason to be concerned whatsoever and they would not have let him fight if they thought that something was wrong with him. They all take this seriously and they are a family."

The coroner says the cause of death is unknown and an autopsy is scheduled for Monday morning.

Afterwards, Seidlitz says the promoters, organizers and fighters met to discuss what had happened and decide how to handle the rest of the night.

"The Athletics Commission decided it would be in the best interest of the fighters and the fans to stop the fights for the night," he said. "The announcer let everybody know that one of the fighters was in serious condition and had everybody take a moment of silence and then explain the situation that the fights were over and apologize that everybody had to leave early without seeing the rest of the fights but the crowd was extremely respectful."

Seidlitz says only 2 or 3 of the 12-13 fights scheduled were completed.

As Mims was rushed to the hospital, family and friends gathered but in the MMA community, family and friends are the same thing.

"We all got together to discuss ways to raise money for his family," explained Seidlitz.

And Mims' family was a large one. He leaves behind five children and a mother who even when faced with the loss of her son, comforted his team members who were grieving right along with her.

Seidlitz said that Mims' mother took one of his team members aside and said she was happy to see that her son died doing something he loved instead of out on the streets where he used to be.

"The thing about Tyrone is, he never had an easy life," said Seidlitz. "This was his turnaround point where he was making something of himself and trying to provide for his family."

And where Mims left off, the producers of the show that showcased his life will try to pick up. Seidlitz says that Mims' children will be getting a portion of the proceeds from the show once it airs.

"We'll be pitching the TV show to networks soon," he said. "We've already decided to set aside a portion of the money that comes in. Basically, we're giving his children an ownership stake that will allow them to get paid from the show's success. And we're dedicating the show to him, in his memory."


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