On February 28, South African promotion Extreme Fighting Championships (EFC) Africa posted an update on their website that middleweight fighter Booto Guylain was in critical condition following his third round TKO loss to Keron Davies. The EFC website stated that Guylain had swelling and bleeding on the brain, a combination all too familiar to those who have followed combat sports for any significant length of time.
Today came the sad news that Guylain had passed away:
South African middleweight Booto Guylain has passed away after sustaining serious injuries in a third round TKO defeat at EFC 27 last week.— James Goyder (@JamesGoyder) March 5, 2014
Sherdog has Guylain listed at 0-2, including the fight that led to his injuries, Davies is 1-0 after the fight. So, on paper, there was nothing about the bout that suggests a dangerous mismatch. Just the sad realities of how dangerous professional fighting can be.
"Actually, mixed martial arts is huge in South Africa right now," he said. "There’s a show down there now that I just heard about that is doing 1.2 million viewers every time it’s on. So the sport is booming all over the world, and yeah, South Africa is next. That’s where we’re going."
The show he is referring to, Extreme Fighting Championship, has so far produced 14 events. According to a news report, a recent March event drew 1.6 million viewers -- 25.9 percent of the television audience -- a rating that beat popular sports like rugby and cricket.
EFC added some more to a recent update on Guylain's passing:
"We are devastated," said EFC AFRICA president Cairo Howarth. "This is a huge loss to the sport and to all who know him. Our thoughts are with his family in this trying time."
ONEPLAN, EFC AFRICA's disability partner since October 2013, will be providing financial support to Guylain's family.
“We are very grateful that ONEPLAN is here in this difficult time, and we thank them for their support,” said Howarth.
Guylain was 29 years old. He is survived by his wife and son. All athletes competing at EFC AFRICA 28, on March 27, will wear black armbands in his honour and memory. The Bloody Elbow staff sends their best wishes to the family and friends of Guylain.