In the wake of the hoopla surrounding UFC 100, some important combat sports news has gone mostly unnoticed: legendary boxer Arturo Gatti was found dead in what appears to be murder.
Gatti, 37, was on his second honeymoon with his wife, Amanda, and their 10-month-old baby when his blood-spattered body was discovered in a seaside resort in Porto de Galinhas, according to media reports.
A police investigation was ongoing and foul play is suspected. Gatti was found to have blood stains on the back of his head and neck around 6 a.m. Saturday morning, according to the Canadian Broadcasting Co.
Adding heat to the speculation is the fact that Gatti was supposed to testify this week in a lawsuit filed by Joey Gamanche over injuries suffered in the ring. And here is where it becomes especially interesting for MMA fans.
Gamanche's suit against the New York Athletic Commission--which famously won't sanction MMA in the state, presumably because it's too violent or dangerous--alleges fraud because Gatti weighed far more than him by fight time.
The night of the bout, Gatti reportedly weighed 160 pounds, according to HBO scales, while Gamache, who made weight the day before, checked in at 145 pounds.
The result was inevitable.
Gamache was nearly decapitated in the second round, retired from the sport on his way back to the dressing room and was reported to have sustained permanent brain damage.
Of course, this immediately brings to find the many weight cutting controversies, particularly in women's MMA with Cyborg Santos and Gina Carano, as well as Paulo Fihlo's well-documented problems. I doubt we'll ever see a situation like this lawsuit in the UFC, due to the nature of the contracts and the rules, but it goes to show why weight classes are important, and why organizations shouldn't let fighters slide and fight as much as 10 pounds over weight by forfeiting part of the purse.
It also reminds us that punches can cause long-lasting neurological damage, which is why I have very little tolerance for punches to an unconscious opponent, such as the one Dan Henderson delivered to Michael Bisping last night.