A 21-year old amateur mixed martial artist competing at the Southern Indiana Combat was rushed to the hospital after experiencing a cardiac arrest during his bout on March 4th.
Isaiah Abels was in his third amateur MMA bout and had just entered the second round of his event with Saevon Canto at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum when he appeared to enter medical distress after a takedown attempt.
The referee was initially unaware of the issue and believed a stoppage had occurred, but medical staff soon realized what had happened and assisted Abels’ breathing while getting his heart going.
Abels was stabilized an hour later, and his brother posted an account of the incident on social media, expressing gratitude for the medical professionals and God.
“Unexpectedly he was countered with a lead hook. He responded with a takedown and continued to pressure his opponent against the fence to recover from the hook. Isaiah then disengaged from the clinch and went to press forward. As he continued to pressure his opponent something ominous happened.”
“Isaiah took a step forward and collapsed to his knees. He was going into respiratory arrest. Soon after the fight was stopped. The ref had no idea what really happened thinking it was a typical stoppage. Clearly it wasn’t. Isaiah wasn’t getting up because he was also going into cardiac arrest.”
“Once the doctors and medics accessed the situation. They got his heart going as they assisted his breathing. We rushed to the hospital. A hour or so later Isaiah was stabilized.”
“I don’t know what you believe in, but the fear of God was put into all of us last night. Words can’t even describe. I’m grateful for everyone praying and thinking about him, but I really wanna thank the medical professionals along with God. Again, I don’t know to what degree you believe in God, but please continue to keep Isaiah in your thoughts and prayers. Please, God. Please everyone. Please.”
The event, SICP 2: The 2nd Coming, had to cancel the rest, and the promotion released a statement wishing Abels a speedy recovery and thanking the cage-side doctors and first responders who provided medical care.
Fans were asked to hold all ticket stubs and receipts and stay tuned for more information.
Evans has a 2-0 record as an amateur in MMA, having won bouts in the lightweight division in 2021 and 2022.