An amateur mixed martial arts fighter has died from a head injury she sustained during a fight in England over the weekend.
Saeideh Aletaha, 26, suffered a life-threatening brain injury during her match on Saturday night at the Fast and Furious Fight Series event held in Southampton, BBC reported.
Authorities told the Southern Daily Echo that she was taken to the Southampton General Hospital after she collapsed from a blow during her fight, but later died on Sunday morning.
“We were called shortly before 1 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 17 by colleagues at Southampton General Hospital informing us of a woman who was being treated in hospital for a life-threatening brain injury,” Hampshire Police said in a statement. “The woman, aged 26, died in hospital later that day.”
The U.K. authorities added that an investigation is ongoing and that her family has been notified about the tragedy.
The Fast and Furious Fight Series released a statement on Facebook, reiterating that the safety of participants is not taken lightly by the event coordinators, but that injuries are still a risk the athletes accept when they enter the competition.
“All competitors get in prepared that they may be injured and this is something not expected to happen 99.9% of the time,” the event wrote. “But, it can and in this we make the environment as safe as possible with pre and post medicals from a Doctor, and full medical cover through out with Doctor, Paramedic and Ambulance on site alongside our experienced team of staff with numerous first aiders, safety is not something ever skimped on in any of our 19 shows and all matches are made equal.”
Aletaha’s home gym also released a statement on Facebook, describing the athlete as a “beautiful soul,” and said the news of her death was “devastating.”
“Saeideh Aletaha was a lovely character with a beautiful soul. Her dedication to the sport was 110 percent traveling miles every day just to train,” the gym wrote. “She found her place with us just a few months ago but has become apart of the family and will be sorely missed.”
The gym added, “This news comes as a devastating blow to us all at the gym and the whole community. Our thoughts and preys [sic] go out to her family. If there is any questions or if anyone feels they need support at this time please please do contact us.”