MMA Veteran Thornton Dies from Bare Knuckle Boxing Injuries

Justin Thornton
Justin Thornton, a 13-year veteran of mixed martial arts, has died of injuries suffered in a bare knuckle boxing match back in August as initially reported on Monday by mymmanews.com. Thornton, who was 6-18 in his MMA career, had been fighting in the BKFC 20 event in Biloxi, Miss. on August 20 when he was hit with a roundhouse punch by opponent Dillon Cleckler just 19 seconds into their fight and fell head first into the canvas.

It's been reported Thornton, who was 38, suffered a spinal injury as a result of his head first fall and had been placed on a ventilator in the hospital though no cause of death has yet been released. Thornton had lost his last five MMA fights dating back to 2017. Overall, he'd been knocked out 11 times in his 24 MMA bouts including 8 knockouts suffered in the first round. One of those first round knockouts came at the hands of Cleckler back in 2013, yet the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship and the Mississippi Athletic Commission still approved the rematch between the two men.

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