By Paul Thompson
A woman kickboxer has died after being felled by a left hook to the face during an amateur tournament in Florida.Adrienne Simmons, 34, was knocked out in the final round of a three-round bout in Orlando on Sunday.
The fight was stopped and ringside doctors treated Miss Simmons, who sat up and spoke to paramedics as she was helped to the dressing room.
But the Atlanta-based fighter collapsed soon after and was eventually airlifted to hospital where she died on Monday.
Fatal blow: Adrienne Simmons died after being felled by a punch to the head during a championship fight She is thought to be the first women kickboxer to die following a fight. Simmons' boyfriend yesterday claimed tournament organisers, International Kickboxing Federation, had failed to provide adequate medical facilities. Chike Lindsay-Ajudua said there was no ambulance immediately available and it took almost 60 minutes to get Simmons to Orlando Medical Centre. He told Atlanta's 11Alive.com: 'It took over half an hour after the incident for her to even be loaded onto a gurney for transport.
Fighter: The 30-year-old is the first woman to be killed in the contact sport
'Transportation took another 20 minutes, which gave over an hour of time for the swelling of her brain to get to a point where there was little that doctors could do.
'The severity of this accident is a direct result of the proper precautions not being taken by the IKF.'
Simmons had been fighting Lindsay Scheer in a Muay Thai match, when she was knocked out.
The Thai form of kick-boxing allows fighters use feet, elbows, hands and knees to rain blows on their opponents although women have to wear headguards.
Miss Simmons had emergency surgery to relieve swelling on the brain but never recovered consciousness.
Her death has been ruled an accident by the Orange County coroner.
Speaking about the fatal blow, her trainer Eric Haycraft said: 'It really just seemed like a normal bout.
'It was a heavy shot but everyone involved had no reason to believe there was anything abnormal except a fighter getting their bell rung like we all have had at some point in our careers.'
On her Facebook page, Ms Scheer described her opponent as 'brave', and wrote that part of herself had died along with Ms Simmons.
'I have been inconsolable since that moment,' she wrote. 'I did not know what it really felt like to cry. I was and am broken.'
Steve Fossom, the president of the International Kickboxing Federation, could not be reached for comment.
OH MY GOD - READ THIS
Written by her opponent (killer) Lindsay
I have waited to make my statement about the terrible tragedy that has occurred this past weekend at IKFs because I wanted there to be time for all involved especially those closest to Adrienne to have a chance to tell their friends and have their time to process this horrific event, but I feel there are some things that I need to say. What I was hoping would be a wonderful day turned out to be the absolute worst day of my entire life. I had anticipated a great weekend of being around and getting to participate in what I love – Muay thai. I could never have imagined that the weekend would end with me being called into a room by a sheriff to inform me that I am being interviewed for a homicide investigation. I have literally been inconsolable since that moment. I did not know what it really felt like to cry. I was and am broken.
I returned home to be greeted by my amazing parents who drove to my house in Louisville to be with me and tell me in person that they love me and that they are behind me. They also drove down to tell me that my grandmother had died this morning as well. I do not add these details to evoke pity or draw attention to me. In fact, I am done talking about my hurt and my pain because it is only self-serving and would evoke pity and condolences from people that I just don’t want or feel like I deserve. Any energy or thought in this matter must go to Adrienne and Chike. I mention these details because they have helped to bring me to what I am about to say:
A piece of me died in the ring yesterday with Adrienne. I will never get it back…not even in time – it will not heal this, period. However, my initial visceral reaction when I was told by the police officers was a hysterical fit that I will never fight again. To be honest, I am terrified to step into the ring and I don’t know how I will be able to…but again, this is not about me. My grandmother was one of the strongest people I have had the privilege of knowing and Adrienne was one of the bravest. I know that my grandmother would tell me I am being weak and wasteful and I truly believe that Adrienne would want me to continue to fight because if this situation was reversed, I would have wanted her to do the same.
We both love this sport, it is more than what we do, it is a part of who we are and if I spend the rest of my life avoiding Muay Thai, then we both die. I say this because long before the IKF tournament, I had accepted a rematch bout with a very tough dutch girl I had fought last year. This was the toughest fight I have ever had. It is scheduled for Aug 29th in Suriname. I think I have to go through with it. I have to find some way to make myself train and prepare for this match because I feel it needs to be done to commemorate Adrienne. She deserves nothing less. In fact, she deserves more than a bout in her memory, she deserves change. I cannot let her death be in vain. The Kickboxing community needs to make something positive from this tragedy and I’ll do whatever I can to facilitate it. I do not expect everyone to agree with me or even to understand where I am coming from. All that I ask is that you do not judge me. I of course will not proceed with the fight unless I have the support of Chike and those closest to Adrienne because I wish to do nothing that those who knew her best would deem disrespectful. So please…no responses to this post unless it is a way we can begin to make things better.