Dhafir Harris, aka ‘Dada 5000’ lost one of the worst fights ever against Kimbo Slice at Bellator 149 on Friday night, reeling off to one side before collapsing in the third round from what appeared to be complete exhaustion, but the worst was still to come.
The 38 year-old backyard brawl turned occasional MMA fighter was stretchered out of the cage and taken to hospital with what was believed to be extreme fatigue. However it later emerged that due to high potassium levels in his bloodstream (the result of a 40lb weight cut to make the heavyweight limit of 265lbs) Dada suffered renal failure.
Additionally, while it’s not been officially confirmed, Bleacher Report writer Jeremy Botter claimed that multiple sources informed him that while at hospital Dada 5000’s heart also briefly stopped beating, leading to him being placed on a ventilator.
Thankfully the fighter has been in a stable condition over the weekend and his family have since released an official statement through Bellator in which they confirm his renal failure, but make no mention of the claims that he’d also had heart troubles.
“The Harris Family would like to inform Dada’s friends and fans that Dada is ok and resting comfortably in a Houston area Hospital under the care of an incredible staff of doctors and nurses.
The doctors have now informed us that Dada had accumulated extremely high levels of potassium in his blood which led to severe dehydration, fatigue and renal failure. The high potassium levels were likely caused by his 40lbs weight loss in preparation for the fight.
Thanks to the EMTs and doctors, Dada is now recovering nicely.
Dada showed the heart of a lion in the cage- not backing down throughout. He worked extremely hard preparing for the fight and stepped forward for 3 rounds against a tough veteran. He kept digging through the adversity- leaving it all in the cage for his fans and supporters. You can never take that away from him.
We’d like to thank all those who have supported Dada as well as express our sincere appreciation to Scott Coker, and the good people at BELLATOR and Spike who have been on-site to visit Dada and support the family.
We ask for the public and media to respect Dada’s privacy as he recovers.”
On paper Bellator 149 looked like a circus freak show, with the two former backyard brawlers serving as the co-main event to another fight that should never have been made between MMA legends Royce Gracie and Ken Shamrock who have a combined age of 101.
Remarkably the event actually turned out to be even worse than anyone had imagined, with Kimbo Vs Dada turning out to be a laughable farce that didn’t provide the quick knockout that had been anticipated – instead delivering almost three rounds of cringeworthy technique and cardio.
Meanwhile the main event only lasted a few minutes yet still managed to end controversially when a knee to the midsection from Gracie strayed low to the groin and together with a follow-up knee to the temple dropped Shamrock, leading to a ground and pound finish.
Shamrock was furious at the stoppage and angrily declared that all he needed was a moment to tuck his nuts back into his cup.
That’s an image that no one wants in their heads, which is somewhat fitting given that, in hindsight, Bellator may be wishing they could just erase this whole event from our collective memories given the negative blacklash it’s received, and now Dada 5000’s troubling health scare to cap it all off.
Unfortunately just sweeping this embarrassment of a show under the carpet is not an option given that it’s expected to be one of Bellator’s most watched events ever on Spike TV.