21-Year-Old MMA Fighter Isaiah Abels Suffers a Cardiac Arrest During Fight – Suffers Brain Damage

by J Pelkey
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A young fighter is now being treated at the hospital after suffering a medical emergency during a match in downtown Evansville, Indiana.

Amateur MMA fighter Isaiah Abels, 21, was rushed to the hospital after suffering a cardiac arrest shortly after landing a second-round takedown during a fight, Express reported.

Medical personnel rushed in and were able to restart Abels’ heart before he was taken to the hospital.

According to the doctors, Isaiah experienced brain damage due to a lack of oxygen to his brain for several minutes.

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Abels’ brother, Zach Abels, posted an emotional message on Facebook describing how the incident occurred.

Last night Isaiah Abels engaged in battle. It went two rounds. First round went to him with beautiful striking. The fight transitioned into the second round. Isaiah continued to pick his shots and maintained his pace and distance.

Unexpectedly he was countered with a lead hook. He responded with a takedown and continued to pressure his opponent against the fence to recover from the hook. Isaiah then disengaged from the clinch and went to press forward. As he continued to pressure his opponent something ominous happened.

Isaiah took a step forward and collapsed to his knees. He was going into respiratory arrest. Soon after the fight was stopped. The ref had no idea what really happened thinking it was a typical stoppage. Clearly it wasn’t. Isaiah wasn’t getting up because he was also going into cardiac arrest.

Once the doctors and medics accessed the situation. They got his heart going as they assisted his breathing. We rushed to the hospital. A hour or so later Isaiah was stabilized.

I don’t know what you believe in, but the fear of God was put into all of us last night. Words can’t even describe. I’m grateful for everyone praying and thinking about him, but I really wanna thank the medical professionals along with God. Again, I don’t know to what degree you believe in God, but please continue to keep Isaiah in your thoughts and prayers.

Please, God. Please everyone. Please. I love you, Isaiah Lee

A GoFundMe was created to help with the cost of his recovery.

From the GoFundMe:

Hi, my name is Terri Himelick. I am raising money to help Isaiah’s family while they are 4.5 hours away from home at his bedside and to help cover some of the medical costs. He started taking taekwondo classes with me at the age of 12 and then switched to mixed martial arts after he received his black belt. He went into cardiac arrest during his third amateur fight at Southern Indiana Combat on March 4, 2023. CPR was done in the ring and then he was transferred to a nearby hospital in Evansville. His family was able to see him after he was stabilized. He is currently sedated until he can breathe on his own. The doctors are running tests to find the underlining cause. They have tried to take the breathing tube out but he isn’t responding the way he needs to breathe on his own. He is surrounded by his Dad, Mom, twin brother and younger sister. His older brother is taking care of the animals and the household duties in their Fort Wayne home. If you would like to donate to help with travel expenses and medical costs it would be appreciated. Come join the fight with Isaiah by donating, praying or sending encouraging words!

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