Household of lady killed in cage struggle specific ‘mismatch’ considerations | UK information
The family of a mixed martial arts enthusiast who died in a cage fight after being hit to the head have raised concerns about being “mismatched” with a larger, more muscular opponent.
Saeideh Aletaha, a 26-year-old graduate, collapsed in a bathroom at Central Hall in Southampton after being knocked out in the third round of the competition.
In an investigation in Winchester, her family claimed that her opponent, personal trainer Janie Morgan, 34, appeared taller and stronger than Aletaha.
They claimed Aletaha seemed worried about her opponent and stressed out by the prospect of the competition. In a statement read out during the investigation, Aletaha’s family said: “Saeideh always sent her photo before every game with her opponent. For her last match, however, she had cut out her opponent’s picture and only sent her own picture.
“We think now that if she had shared her opponent’s picture, Amir [her brother] would have commented on her physical differences and the fact that her opponent looked taller and more muscular. The night before the game, she had mentioned to her sister that she was stressed, but never gave the reason. “
The investigation was told that the bout was close and intense, even though all three judges let Morgan win the second round. Aletaha was knocked out in the third and admitted to Southampton General Hospital after the collapse and died on November 17, 2019.
Her family said Aletaha was born in Iran but moved to the UK to study at university and stayed to work. When she died, she was living in Salisbury working as a product engineer.
Her family said part of their motivation for the fight was to prove that a Muslim woman wearing a hijab can participate in extreme sports.
In a statement, Morgan told the investigation that it “dropped” Aletaha with a right hook. She said they hugged and chatted after the fight and she was shocked and upset when she heard that her opponent had died.
Morgan said, “The fight itself was a good fight, she gave as best she could and it was even … Sai was a lovely and humble young woman.”
Dean Kendall, who was in Aletaha’s corner during the fight, said, “She started the third round well. Sai shot the head, it wasn’t a strong one, but she took it wrongly in her legs and folded herself.
“She was given oxygen for about a minute and then she wanted to get up and leave because she was upset, but we kept her waiting until she was a little clearer. Paramedics took her out the back on a stretcher.
Kendall visited Aletaha at the hospital after being told that she could not be saved.
Event organizer Richard Harding said the two women were similar in weight and height, although Aletaha was a little more experienced. Harding said Aletaha relied on speed while Morgan relied more on strength and tried to hit her opponent hard.
Amir Aletaha asked Harding about Morgan’s physique and suggested, “It’s very clear that [Ms Morgan] is much stronger. ”He also asked why Morgan had asked her to fight without shin guards, claiming that an attack by Morgan on this part of the body might have affected one of his sister’s key weapons, her speed.
Harding replied that Morgan was “top heavy” while Aletaha’s body weight was much more evenly distributed. He said he didn’t think a fight without the shin guards would have put Aletaha in greater danger.
The organizer said the event, which was part of the Fast and Furious fighting series, adhered to strict security guidelines and the matchmaking process took months. “I was pleased that they were balanced,” he said.
Harding told the investigation that the attendees attended for the love of sports, not to make money, and no profit was made from running the shows.
He added, “Losing someone like that is hard for everyone. We put these on to put on a spectacle and that is absolutely the worst that can happen, but I am fully confident that we have done as much as possible. “
The investigation continues.