Friday’s Bellator 149 co-main MMA event in Houston seemed comical to many as former YouTube sensation Kimbo Slice defeated the inexperienced Dada 5000 with a third-round TKO despite an lack of technique on both sides.
But things took a serious turn when Dada, whose real name is Dhafir Harris, was unable to stand after falling in exhaustion at the fight’s conclusion.
According to a statement from the Harris family released through Bellator, high potassium levels — likely caused by Dada’s 40-pound weight loss — led to dehydration, fatigue and renal failure, also known as kidney failure, on Saturday. Reports by MMAFighting and Bleacher Report also say Dada went into cardiac arrest at some point overnight.
Dada, who had just two professional fights and had not fought since 2011 entering the event, received oxygen in the cage before being removed by stretcher and transported by EMTs to a Houston-area hospital, said Bellator president Scott Coker at a press conference Friday night.
The statement also said “Dada is recovering nicely” and “resting comfortably.”
Full statement from the Harris family:
“The Harris Family would like to inform Dada’s friends and fans that Dada is ok and resting comfortably in a Houston area Hospital under the care of an incredible staff of doctors and nurses.
“The doctors have now informed us that Dada had accumulated extremely high levels of potassium in his blood which led to severe dehydration, fatigue and renal failure. The high potassium levels were likely caused by his 40lbs weight loss in preparation for the fight.
“Thanks to the EMTs and doctors, Dada is now recovering nicely.
“Dada showed the heart of a lion in the cage- not backing down throughout. He worked extremely hard preparing for the fight and stepped forward for 3 rounds against a tough veteran. He kept digging through the adversity- leaving it all in the cage for his fans and supporters. You can never take that away from him.
“We’d like to thank all those who have supported Dada as well as express our sincere appreciation to Scott Coker, and the good people at BELLATOR and Spike who have been on-site to visit Dada and support the family.
“We ask for the public and media to respect Dada’s privacy as he recovers.”