Coroner: Autopsy did not reveal MMA fighter's cause of death

Coroner: Autopsy did not reveal MMA fighter's cause of death
A casting photo of Tyrone "Teesta" Mims. (Source:
A casting photo of Tyrone "Teesta" Mims. (Source:
Mims and Blake Poore before the fight. (Source: Conflict MMA Promotions Facebook page)
Mims and Blake Poore before the fight. (Source: Conflict MMA Promotions Facebook page)

MT. PLEASANT, SC (WCSC) - The Charleston County Coroner's Office says there were inconclusive findings in an autopsy of a Mixed Martial Arts fighter who died at the Medical University of South Carolina on Saturday night after a bout in Mount Pleasant.

Authorities say 30-year-old Tyrone Mims, of Augusta, Georgia, was pronounced dead at 9:27 p.m.

Coroner Rae Wooten says additional tests will be done on Mims to determine the cause of death. A microscopic exam of the heart and brain tissue will be done and other tests are expected that could take between six to eight weeks, according to Wooten.

The State Athletic Commission, who is also investigating the death, said that Mims passed all pre fight exams before the bout took place.

The commission released the following statement on Monday:

"A law was enacted on July 1, 2009, by the S.C. Legislature giving the S.C. Athletic Commission responsibility for regulating Mixed Martial Arts in this state. The law requires that promoters and their fighters meet specific criteria in order to fight in South Carolina. Those requirements include fighters having an annual physical, eye exam and blood test to screen for hepatitis B and C and HIV. In addition, a medical doctor performs a pre-fight physical and a post-fight evaluation on each fighter.

South Carolina law also requires that a medical doctor and an ambulance with medical staff be on site during an event. On Saturday, August 11, 2012, MMA Fighter Tyrone Mims died at the Medical University of South Carolina after a fight.  Mims had a physical and the required blood tests on July 23, 2012, and an eye exam on August 9, 2012. The medical doctor on site also performed a pre-fight physical on Mims and a post-fight evaluation. An ambulance with a paramedic and an EMT were present at the fight.

The death is currently under investigation by the Charleston County Coroner's Office. The Athletic Commission is conducting an internal review of that fight. Because it is under investigation, the S.C. Athletic Commission cannot release any further information at this time."

A news conference was held earlier on Monday in Augusta to discuss Mims death. Mims' mother, fiance, the promoter from Conflict MMA Promotions, and coach Chris Hausser were  present at the press conference.

EMS responded to "Fight Night at the Point VI" at 8:35 p.m. Saturday when Mims became unresponsive following his fight with Blake Poore at the Omar Shrine Temple.

The employee with the production group said Mims came out in the first round "like a beast," but something happened to him in the second round and he went limp and stopped defending himself.

The employee said Mims then got up, told emergency officials he was fine and walked off the stage. Then, his condition deteriorated. The employee said Mims kept fading in and out of consciousness as emergency crews worked to revive him.

Mims died a short time later. He leaves behind five children. The employee also said Mims' mother and fiancee were at the fight, and everyone expected it to be an "easy bout."

The Omar Shrine Temple is located on Patriots Point Boulevard.

According to comments on the event promoter's Facebook page, the event was canceled following the arrival of emergency officials on scene.

Commenters on that page, Conflict MMA Promotions, also said Mims was involved in the second bout.

Mims went by the stage name, "Teesta," according to Reflecting Pool Production's "Georgia Boys Grits N Glory" website.

Charleston MMA trainer Matt Robinson Monday insisted the sport is safe.

"Honestly people think it's a brutal sport. They've got the wrong perception about that," said Robinson, who works at Charleston Krav Maga Mixed Martial Arts. "The sport is absolutely beautiful. It's combined the best of all martial arts into one form."

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