Disabled in a 2013 fight, boxer Magomed Abdusalamov settles with New York

Magomed is unable to walk or speak in sentences since his 2013 fight in New York.

Magomed Abdusalamov fought in 2013 against Mike Perez in New York. Abdusalamov was a an undefeated heavyweight with a record of 18-0 with 18 knockouts. Mike Perez was 20-0 at the time. This was a pretty big Heavyweight bout and the fight went the distance. It became clear towards the end that Magomed was out on his feet, and being allowed to take excessive damage.

Doctors from the state of New York checked him over in the back after the fight and he was given a clean bill of health. He left and immediately got sick outside, and went to a hospital in a cab, where he placed in a medically induced coma.  He spent 10 months in that hospital. It was unclear if he was going to live or die due to brain injuries sustained in the fight.  He did live, and today is home, unable to walk and can only speak in one or two-word responses. He’s unable to form complete thoughts or sentences.

Abdusalamov’s family filed a lawsuit alleging recklessness and malpractice by the New York State Athletic Commission. They felt the state’s doctors did not properly care for Magomed after the fight. That careless treatment resulted in a delay of quality health care and his current state and condition.

He reached a settlement with the state of New York, for 22 million dollars, the largest personal injury lawsuit of its kind in the state’s history.

This story is sad, and when you see a fighter like Gavin Turner, who was dealt multiple broken bones in his face while the referee let the fight continue it really makes you nervous for MMA. As a spot, we need to get on top of this sooner rather than later. We need a standard for when a referee stops a fight. It’s better to err on the side of saving a fighter’s long-term health.