The MMA world is reeling this Tuesday as the terrible news of the death of Joao Carvalho filtered through from Beaumont hospital in Dublin.
On Saturday night, Carvalho was defeated by Charlie Ward in the third round of a Total Extreme Fighting event at the National Stadium, and fell ill shortly after returning to the changing room. At the hospital he then underwent brain surgery but tragically lost his life on Tuesday morning.
Conor McGregor was in attendance, supporting local MMA in Ireland and his teammate Charlie Ward, and he took to Facebook to issue a statement expressing his sadness at hearing the news:
Terrible news regarding Joao Carvalho.
To see a young man doing what he loves, competing for a chance at a better life, and then to have it taken away is truly heartbreaking.
We are just men and women doing something we love in the hope of a better life for ourselves and our families. Nobody involved in combat sports of any kind wants to see this. It is such a rare occurrence that I don't know how to take this.
I was ringside supporting my teammate, and the fight was so back and forth, that I just can't understand it.
My condolences go out to Joao's family and his team. Their man was a hell of a fighter and will be sorely missed by all.
Combat sport is a crazy game and with the recent incident in boxing and now this in MMA, it is a sad time to be a fighter and a fight fan.
It is easy for those on the outside to criticise our way of living, but for the millions of people around the world who have had their lives, their health, their fitness and their mental strength all changed for the better through combat, this is truly a bitter pill to swallow. We have lost one of us.
I hope we remember Joao as a champion, who pursued his dream doing what he loved, and show him the eternal respect and admiration he deserves.
Rest in peace, Joao.
It's an eloquent reply, and one which seems totally genuine. Having been cageside McGregor suggested initially that the fight should have been ended earlier, something that has been echoed by many in attendance, but the loss of life of someone competing in the sport that they love has had a great effect on everyone in the MMA community.
Like McGregor, we would like to extend our sympathy to the family Joao Carvalho.