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« | Home | »

Report: MMA fighter seriously injured in Oklahoma

By Zach Arnold | July 28, 2007

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By Zach Arnold

I got a couple of e-mails about this posting over at the Something Awful forums. Once you read it, you’ll quickly take notice of what is being claimed.

Here’s an update on the fighter’s medical condition.

Here is what the poster wrote:

After years of being an MMA nerd, I finally saw my first live event tonight. It was Warriors of the Cage II in Oklahoma City and we had ring side seats. It was pretty fun (if sub-mediocre) until the very last fight.

It was some scrub with no record named Larry Shorman against a guy from Team Quest named Jeremiah Constant. The scrub was giving up over 50 lbs and had a clear disadvantage in terms of training and experience.

In less than half a minute, the Team Quest guy put shorman on his back and started ground and pound. That’s when everyone noticed that Shorman’s legs and arms had gone completely rigid. The fight was called, and after another few seconds the kid went totally limp and then started convulsing.

I felt sick. I can’t imagine what the fighters were going through. After about 20 minutes, they get the guy on a stretcher and haul him out. He’s probably paralyzed now.

Once people finally started filing out, my friends and I tracked down one of the inspectors from the Oklahoma Boxing Commission to hear his explanation as to why such a fight was allowed to take place. The guy was a huge asshole, and got extremely defensive. He said it was the Shorman’s own fault for volunteering for the fight, and that the regulators had no obligation to keep that from happening.

I’m going to do my homework and make sure whatever regulators were responsible for this travesty have to face up to their negligence. If this sport is going to get banned, it’s because of shithead regulators who don’t understand that their #1 top priority is the safety of the fighters. With regulatory incompetence like this, the first dead fighter in the sport isn’t a possibility, it’s an inevitability.

Who knows, I may have found my calling tonight. Anyone could do a better job at the Oklahoma Boxing Commission, so that person might as well be me. If anyone has any advice on getting into sports regulation, I’d love to know.

Quick research online shows that there was in fact an event called Warriors of the Cage II that happened on Saturday night at the OKC Farmers Market at 311 S. Klein in Oklahoma City (building phone number is 405-232-6506). Here is the MySpace account for the promotion. Sure enough, on the promoter’s MySpace account, it lists a main event of BodogFight’s Jeremiah Constant vs. Larry Shorman of Dragon’s Lair from Oklahoma City. Constant has a 4-2 record in MMA and is also a professional boxer. Here is another MySpace account that posted the WOTC card for Saturday night.

The matchmaker for the event is listed as Chris Holland. I could not find any public information on him.

If the allegations by the poster are true, then the Oklahoma Boxing Commission owes the public an answer to the charges being made against them. Here is the web page for the OBC. Contact information:

Location: 1000 NE 10th St., Rm. 1213, Oklahoma City, OK 73117 – 1299
Phone: 405/271-9444 Ext.. 57992 FAX: 405/271-1695

E-Mail: boxing@health.state.ok.us

THE NEXT SCHEDULED MEETING FOR THE OKLAHOMA BOXING COMMISSION TO THE PUBLIC IS ON WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 1ST AT 1:30 PM. AGENDA INFORMATION HERE.

Look at who is listed as Chairman of the OBC – Danny Hodge. I have a feeling that this is the legendary Danny Hodge, who has such a good reputation in both amateur and professional wrestling.

After finishing the text up above, I received a letter from Justin Watson (the person who wrote the message at Something Awful forums). Here is his statement to me:

I’m preparing a statement to be read at the OPBC’s next public meeting coming up on Wednesday. It’s pretty clear that the promoter and matchmaker were grossly negligent, but ultimately it is the Commission’s error for ignoring their own clearly defined rules in the approval of this bout.

I was hoping you guys at FightOpinion might be interested in pursuing this story. Oklahoma may not be the center of the MMA universe, but I don’t want my home state to become famous for the wrong reasons. If you are interested, I’ll keep you updated on things but I’m no journalist. I’m just a fan who wants to make sure his favorite sport is as clean as possible.

If you have any advice on the matter, or have anything you think should be included in my statement, don’t hesitate to let me know.

Here’s a link to the OPBC’s rules, parts of which were clearly ignored tonight:

http://www.health.state.ok.us/box/ch10.pdf

On July 10th, Fox Sports Net aired a Best Damn Toughman Event from Oklahoma.

Update: As I was doing a blog search on Technorati for more information on Larry Shorman, I found this item.

ATTN: FIGHTERS AND PROMOTERS! PROMOTER RIP OFF!
ATTN: FIGHTERS AND PROMOTERS!
Beware of a guy called FLASH!
~EDIE “FLASH” NEWMAN~
RIPPED OFF ALOT OFF PEOPLE LAST SAT. NIGHT IN OKC.
INCLUDING MYSELF.
He’s from Utah.
This event was called~ WARRIORS OF THE CAGE~
THIS WAS AT THE FARMERS MARKET.
His associate is BURT MCANALLY~IM WARNING OUT OF RESPECT!

RESPECTS~ KHUEN KHRU ADAMS

This was a reply posted by someone named Adams Muay Thai on a MySpace account called Cage Babes on June 21st. On that same date, the same poster made the same reply on a MySpace account called Masters of the Cage, in which the poster also left their contact information (samueladams1@cox.net, 918-488-0707).

The poster claims that he had issues with two individuals – Eddie “Flash” Newman and Burt McAnally. A quick search on Google produces this 2002 article from The Oklahoma City Journal Record, which states that Burt McAnally is a Oklahoma City real estate investor and boxing promoter who bought the Farmer’s Public Market building. That was the same building used to host Saturday night’s Warriors of the Cage II event. Another search of Oklahoma City Journal Record articles reveals that McAnally and business partner Buck Smith are co-owners of TKOForMe Boxing at 819 W. Britton Road in OKC. Eddie “Flash” Newman is also easy to find on a Google search. He’s listed as a trainer (alongside Marvin Eastman) of a couple of individuals, plus his name shows up in a July 2003 Cincinnati Post article. The article claims that Newman is from St. George, Utah and promoted a boxing event in which boxer Bradley Rone collapsed and died.

Topics: MMA, Media, Zach Arnold | 41 Comments » | Permalink | Trackback |

41 Responses to “Report: MMA fighter seriously injured in Oklahoma”

  1. D. Capitated says:

    Ummm, you know what would be really good? An actual idea of his injuries. Because if his body went rigid after being KOed John Matua style, I have a hard time believing he’s paralyzed.

  2. deadEd says:

    That’d be a footnote, really. The entire point is that an inexperienced fighter giving up a huge amount of weight should never be matched up against someone with real credentials. The idea that a commission rep would suggest that it’s not their job to regulate such a thing is insanity. If there’s no hard rules about that sort of thing, there needs to be, otherwise someone WILL get seriously hurt.

  3. Justin says:

    Justin from the article here.

    I’ve been going over the rules on the OPBC website and it looks like even though there are rules regarding equitable matchmaking and liability for Boxing and Kickboxing, they may not apply to MMA for some inexplicable reason.

    The matchmaking rules are clearly lined out in subchapter 3, in paragraphs 92:10-3-5, 92:10-3-15 and 92:10-3-16, but my reading of subchapter 11, paragraph 92:10-11-1 seems to say that mma events don’t have to comply with these rules.

    If that’s true, I’m going to try to persuade the commission to change that, because it’s just insane to me to think that would slip past regulation.

    If anyone knows Shorman’s status, please pass it along. I want to make sure stuff like this doesn’t happen in my favorite sport, but more than that I just hope the poor guy’s okay.

  4. Rollo the Cat says:

    “He’s probably paralyzed now.”

    Sorry, but I need time to recover from that statement before I get behind this guy’s crusade. His legs went rigid and now he is probably paralyzed? What? Is he paralyzed or not. Don’t give me probably.

  5. Justin says:

    I truly hope he’s not seriously injured. He wasn’t moving on his own, and they had him on a respirator.

    There’s an old Travis Fulton fight you can watch on the internet where Fulton spikes an outmatched and underweight TKD guy, breaking his neck. The guy tenses up with an expression of excruciating pain and can’t move the rest of his body. Tonight was pretty much exactly like that, though it was from a fairly standard wrestling tackle instead of a body slam.

    Either way, that fight should never have happened. If he isn’t seriously injured because of this negligence, it’s only a matter of time before someone else is.

  6. Torgo says:

    Stuff like this is why knees are restricted in the US

  7. Rollo the Cat says:

    “Stuff like this is why knees are restricted in the US”

    Was he hit with knees? So now he is paralyzed as a result of knee strikes?

    And no, that isn’t why knees are restricted. That’s another story.

  8. Justin says:

    No. No knees were thrown in the fight.

    There was just the initial takedown which did the damage, then Constant punched Shorman in the head for a couple seconds before the ref broke it up because Shorman couldn’t move his arms to defend himself.

    • dwight says:

      Coming from an individual in the stands not ever doing it compared to an opinion from someone as myself that does fight for a living in the cage. I have been unfairly matched and made it just fine. When we get our license from the boxing commission we are then deadly weapons regardless of experience. My debut fight I fought a guy that was 5-0 I know how it is. We all understand we will never have an equal fight we drop weight and hope we can gain it back by the time of the fight. It’s part of the experience of stepping into the cage there is no liability on the boxing commission so no need to look for laws and regulations it was the guys decision to get in there he got his Ass beat sorry he was seriously injured but that’s part of it also.

  9. PizzaChef says:

    If that fighter’s injury as serious as people are speculating, then the fucking anti-mma conservatives will jump all over this shit. That promoter, and the Oklahoma Athletic Commission should have hell to pay!

  10. Jonathan says:

    Who all from here is from Oklahoma? I am and have been to the weird “Warriors of the Cage” shows at the leaky Oklahoma Farmer’s Market. I personally saw one fighter in the crows get drunk in the crowd with his friends BEFORE heading backstage to fight….so I am willing to bet that any governing is in short supply already.

    Does anyone else want to start a coalition and head to the state meeting in OKC? I’ll volunteer.

  11. bl says:

    About six months ago at a Mass. WFL event MSA fighter Calvin Bales suffered a major stroke in the ring after being choked out, and I don’t recall anyone coming out against chokes in MMA. Someone is going to die in an MMA fight, it’s just a matter of time.

  12. CLAMBO! says:

    Just because it may be a matter of time dosen’t mean commissions need to expedite things. This was blatantly irresponsible of everyone involved. I’ll wait until we know more about Shorman’s condition until I send a email just so I know what to include.

  13. Khzarn says:

    “There’s an old Travis Fulton fight you can watch on the internet where Fulton spikes an outmatched and underweight TKD guy, breaking his neck. The guy tenses up with an expression of excruciating pain and can’t move the rest of his body.”

    You know this for a fact?

    I’ve always been under the impression that Jeremy Bullock did not get his neck broken.

  14. Tomer Chen says:

    Oklahoma is one of the more questionable state commissions out there. For decades, it was pretty much a ‘Wild West’ scenario in Boxing as Pat O’Grady (former Boxer Sean O’Grady’s father) ran cards constantly where he allegedly had fighters continually ‘fight’ each other under different alias to pad up their main records, amongst other things.

    Oklahoma is one of the key examples that I would offer to justify federal oversight in MMA & Boxing (as Nick Lembo of the NJSACB has previously suggested) to force these less stringent commissions to actually regulate instead of doing little more than taking their fees and sitting around.

  15. UFCDaily.com says:

    Good find Zach…Can’t wait to watch this unfold, just hope the guys alright

  16. Justin says:

    Well, I just called around to some hospitals in OKC and it looks like Shorman went to the emergency room but wasn’t admitted to the hospital. So hopefully he’s okay and it wasn’t as bad as I thought.

  17. Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    I wonder if possibly it might have been a seizure of some sort? No question, that matchup shouldn’t have happened, but it would be nice to know exactly what happened.

  18. Sammy says:

    I disagree with the whole tone of this article, considering that it is all based on an anonymous post containing no truly substantial allegation of wrongdoing…at least not an argument to make such claims.

    The only real issue here to me is the weight discrepancy. The fact that one opponent was from ‘team quest’ and that he ‘looked’ like he had less “traning and experience” is all irrelevant because it is pure speculation. Plenty of out of shape looking guys have demolished their more highly touted, top-team-affiliated opponents.

    If the state athletic commission rules permit such weight discrepancies, then I cant really blame an official who is not breaking any of the rules of his commission. All of the initial poster’s arguments were made after the fight had taken place. Hindsight is 20/20. His speculation that the fighter was unfit were proven to be right, but they could have easily proven otherwise. The poster referred to the fighter as a “scrub” but this was only after having seen him lose. Oftentimes, fighters who appear out of shape and undersized surprise and impress us with their skills and endurance. Blaming the commission for a fight that turned out to be brutally one-sided, when it could easily have not been, is weak.

    Now I’m not saying the sport doesnt need stricter regulations, but I think in this particular case it is a little blown out of proportion. Now I know the OK commission, along with many others, is not up to the task of effectively overseeing combat sports, but let us focus on more well documented and substantiated instances of actual misconduct.

  19. Justin says:

    What part of “Justin Watson” sounds anonymous to you?

    Constant has been fighting for five years. His record isn’t stellar, and his training with Team Quest alone isn’t enough to cast suspicion on the matchup. However, the expereince differential combined with the weight differential make for a pretty obvious mismatch.

    Interestingly, the commission has rules for kickboxing and boxing that clearly say that they will not approve unfair matchups (Title 92, Chapter 10, Subchapter 3, paragraphs 15 and 16), but for some reason those rules aren’t applied to MMA.

    I’ll be going to the commission meeting on wednesday to see if they can explain why they don’t appear to have any matchmaking regulations for MMA, and if they can’t provide an adequate justification, I’ll petition for those rules to be implemented.

    You make a good point though about hindsight. If I had known about the mismatch before hand, I like to think that I would have voiced my concerns earlier. But I didn’t, so all I can do now is try to make sure nothing like that happens again in my home state.

  20. Dedwyre says:

    This reminds me of that video Zach (I think it was Zach) where one of the IFL fighters had a match with an obviously overweight individual who appeared to know little about fighting or defending himself. That type of thing is just sick and needs to be confronted.

  21. D. Capitated says:

    I truly hope he’s not seriously injured. He wasn’t moving on his own, and they had him on a respirator.

    You know what, I’d really like to hear someone who actually knows something about medicine to tell me what happened. I have a feeling there were no Air Ambluances called in and that they didn’t do a trach on the guy in the ring, so I’m definitely calling bullshit here. It sounds like he got lit up, went into convusions (which happens with sudden head trauma), and was put on a backboard (standard spinal precautions for any tramatic incident) and administered O2 (given to just about anyone for any medical reason immediately).

    The other thing not mentioned is that Jeremiah Constant is a heavyweight. Heavyweights regularly have large differences in weights because you have such a huge range in the class. In boxing, anyone over 200, whether they are 201 or 401 is a heavyweight. There’s 60 lbs in MMA.

  22. Sammy says:

    Zach Arnold… do you have anything to say for yourself?

    As some suspected, the facts in this case are quickly beginning to point towards the conclusion that no major act of negligence took place with this fight. No facts have been presented, by Zach or others, to lead anyone to any other conclusion.

    So far we have a 4-2 heavyweight who fought a guy he outweighed by an ESTIMATED 50 pounds..estimated. The opponent supposedly has ‘no record.’ Again, as we all know with MMA, lots of smalltime fights go undocumented. And anyway, a guy in his debut fighting a guy with 6 fights is really not that outrageous in and of itself. We have an apparently brutal knockout that has resulted in what? Do we have any proof that this man was seriously injured? Any indication at all? We see brutal knockouts all the time. again, no major cause for alarm on its own.

    So I ask you again, where was the gross negligence that justifies Zach’s all out assault on the commission and the promoter? If I am wrong, I will readily admit it, but I have yet to see any evidence of wrongdoing to justify this response.

  23. Todd says:

    For the record Jeremiah Constant is a wrestler who became a pro boxer and then an MMA fighter. He holds the Junior College pin record to this day.

  24. Justin says:

    Dude it hasn’t even been 24 hours since the event. The oklahoma boxing commission will get a chance to defend its actions on wednesday at the public meeting.

    Don’t go railing on Zach just because nothing really new came to light on a freakin’ sunday.

  25. Zach Arnold says:

    Zach Arnold… do you have anything to say for yourself?

    Sure. I’m always concerned that a bad accident can happen at a smaller event with less oversight.

    As I stressed in the initial post, I said the Athletic Commission only needs to answer if the charges are true.

    I’m not very big on anonymous sources, so the fact that Justin Watson (who did the write-up) is publicly available to comment is a good thing.

  26. Smitty says:

    Many commissions have maximum variances that outline how much difference total there can be between the two combatants.

  27. Jonathan says:

    Justin

    Is there a way that I can contact you?

  28. Justin says:

    The meeting has been rescheduled to August 8th for some reason.

  29. Reese Bobby says:

    I can’t believe I missed it. I have known Jermiah for a long time, that boy is a hoss. Anyway, the guy who was fighting knew what he was getting himself into. If the other guy would have won the fight, would you all still be complaining?

  30. FOR THOSE WANTING TO KNOW ABOUT LARRY SHORMAN – HERE IS HIS INTERVIEW TONIGHT WITH PATTI LOCKLEAR, ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER OF THE MIDCITY ADVOCATE AND CO-PUBLISHER OF THE FIGHTERS VOICE:

    “After the fight, at the hospital all they did was they took xrays of my shoulder because it was hurting a little then they did a cat scan of my head – it was fine – I didn’t have anything wrong with me at all. They put a little glue on my eye and sent me home – everything was fine,” said Shorman.

    “As far as everyone worrying about me when I got knocked out – that’s normal sometimes when you get knocked out hard – I’ve seen it a lot in fights – it’s nothing new, nothing uncommon – he’s just got a good shot …”

    “For those that want to speak for me – there shouldn’t be anybody that should be speaking for me, I’ll speak for myself … As far as people hating on MMA – get a life – stop worrying about other people and worry about yourself.”

    “I took that fight as an opportunity … And as for anybody that wants to call me a scrub, then I’ll humbly ablige you to step in the cage and compete against me and I won’t scrub – I’ll mop you up!”

    FOR THE FULL STORY ON THE LARRY SHORMAN VS JEREMIAH CONSTANT FIGHT, PLEASE SEE THE AUGUST EDITION OF THE FIGHTERS VOICE – http://WWW.MYSPACE.COM/THEFIGHTERSVOICE. FOR SUBSCRIPTIONS CALL 405-519-5763.

  31. [...] Larry Shorman (who got knocked out by Jeremiah Constant) is doing fine. You can read those comments here and here and [...]

  32. Richard Rowe says:

    I have to agree that this whole fight was very badly matched. I have taken pictures of over 20 fights, and never have I seen such a gross attempt at entertainment. It was so one sided that at times I wonder why they just didn’t hire bums from down at the half way house to fight. I am posting this because I was just threatened by the MatchMaker of this fight with violence. I will leave up the pictures that show what a joke fights at The Farmers Market are. Most of these fighters are very talented, and this is not a stab at them. It was the matchMaker that was at fault at this fight. I have talked to a few people with the Boxing commission, and they also agreed. The medical staff on site, and the refree Gary Ritter were outstanding in their efforts to controll this freak show.

  33. Dale says:

    it’s really not that big of a deal, the ref should’ve been on it faster – that’s it.

  34. Richard Rowe says:

    Dale Says:

    August 8th, 2007 at 3:00 pm
    it’s really not that big of a deal, the ref should’ve been on it faster – that’s it.

    The Ref did an excellent job. I was 2 feet away, and saw it all.

  35. Mike says:

    I really thought the fights could have been better. I would have to say that if i had to pay for tickets that would be the last fight i went too. There was maybe one good fight that night

  36. JG says:

    Jeremy Bullock didn’t get his neck broken against Travis Fulton.

    http://www.the-nextlevel.com/board/archive/index.php/t-40545.html

    “The video (http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2685066836228704338&q=mma) (watch the full thing, it’s worth it)

    And the story (from another forum) which makes the video even more lols:

    The story I heard was that the TKD guy was bugging the promoter big time about getting on the card. The promoter was hesitant to do so until 2 things happened; 1) the TKD guy got VERY persistant, he would show up and call the promoter all the time 2) Fulton was supposed to enter a tourny on that card, but did not make weight (listen to his interview). The promoter offered Fulton the TKD guy, but only if he did not strike at all. The TKD guy did not know about the special rules. The rest is history.

    And some more info on taekwondo dog:

    He was given the green light to go home at the hospital. They took him out on a stretcher just in case – it certainly hurt, but he was also freaking out squealing and shit.

    His name is Jeremy Bullock, and according to the gossip-net, he’s been saying he’s been a UFC champion (yep, a UFC champion)… never mind that this fight is the only one he has on his belt

    Thought some of you might get a kick out of it. HAW!”

    Posting that the guy was most likely paralyzed is irresponsible.

  37. jason anderson says:

    i seen o boy who got beat up a couple of days later an we where laughing an joking about it as we got paid at chris’s is house an this shit happens all the time in every sport jason anderson mma fighter

  38. Bunch of in-the-closet homosexuals compete in those so-called sports LOL

  39. Nadine says:

    It’s an amazing piece of writing for all the online users;
    they will get advantage from it I am sure.

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