Justin Thornton has died a few weeks after suffering a knockout defeat.
The longtime MMA fighter was knocked out by Dillon Cleckler in just 18 seconds when they competed at BKFC 20 in Mississippi back in August.
As per reports, Thorton was hospitalized for weeks following the knockout in addition to being partially paralyzed and dealing with a spinal cord injury. He passed away Monday morning.
The news was first reported by MyMMANews.com.
“Very sad news…. Learning of the passing of Justin Thornton. Justin passed away this morning after battling through injuries and complications that occurred as a result of his latest bare knuckle bout at BKFC 20 in August.”
Very sad news…. Learning of the passing of Justin Thornton. Justin passed away this morning after battling through injuries and complications that occurred as a result of his latest bare knuckle bout at BKFC 20 in August.
— Eric Kowal – MyMMANews.com (@MyMMANews) October 4, 2021
BKFC president Dave Feldman issued the following statement:
“This morning we were very saddened to be notified of the passing of one of our fighters, Justin Thornton, who competed at BKFC 20 on August 20, 2021.
“We join the rest of the combat sports community in sending our deepest condolences to his family and loved ones.”
Here is the knockout that Thornton suffered. It was his only appearance for the bare knuckle boxing promotion.
— SEATTLE MIKE (@fightswfriends) August 21, 2021
Prior to his BKFC bow, Thornton competed for various MMA promotions over the years as he amassed a 8-16 record.
He last competed in MMA when he took on Titan FC COO Lex McMahon this past November with the latter making his professional debut. He was submitted by McMahon just a minute into the fight.
You can watch that below: