And just like that, the return of Dada 5000 to the bare-knuckle boxing ring was no more.
On Monday, Dhafir Harris, better known by fans as Dada 5000, was scheduled to return to the ring in November, headlining an event for his own promotion, BYB Extreme. Hours later, the promotion was forced to announce his withdrawal after the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation confirmed that they will uphold an indefinite suspension levied by the Texas State Athletic Commission in 2016. This news was first reported by MMA Fighting.
“Dhafir Harris is currently indefinitely suspended by the Texas Athletic Commission. Mr. Harris will not be competing at the event in November,” confirmed a Florida commission representative.
Dada 5000 Opens Up About Heart Attack Following Bout with Kimbo Slice
The suspension handed down by Texas was following Dada 5000’s 2016 bout with Kimbo Slice at Bellator 149. Harris lost the bout via third-round TKO (though it was changed to a no-contest after Slice tested positive for PEDs) and was immediately rushed to a local hospital having suffered not one, but two heart attacks. During an interview on The Dan LeBatard Show following the incident, Dada 5000 said:
“When I actually fell inside that ring, Kimbo Slice never touched me. I had a heart attack. So, when I slammed against the cage and I went down, that was just the beginning. The heart is a muscle, so when the kidneys shut down and I’m still pushing, the next thing to go was the heart. So when my heart stopped, it’s like, I was out of it. I didn’t remember nothing. When they brought me back, I was inside the hospital and they said that I had two heart attacks — and this is on paper we can provide to you guys. I had two heart attacks and I [flat-lined] twice.”
Dada 5000 was also required to stay on dialysis due to kidney failure while recovering from cardiac arrest. Those medical issues were enough for the Texas commission to deliver the indefinite suspension that the state of Florida will uphold.
Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship star Melvin Guillard suffered a similar fate in January when he attempted to get licensed in the state to be part of the promotion’s annual Knucklemania event. Guillard was denied by the state with the full support of the Association of Boxing Commissions president Mike Mazzulli.
“Many of these [aging] competitors have been affiliated with other MMA organizations and have been subsequently released by these promotional companies due to many factors including (but not limited to) loss of skills, consecutive losses, or injuries,” the ABC stated. “Lastly, many of these fighters have not fought for extended periods of time. Therefore, the Association of Boxing Commission’s Medical Committee is especially concerned that athletes competing ’recycling’ may be at higher risks for acute and chronic injuries.”