Mick Dowling "shocked but not terribly surprised" by MMA death in Dublin

Portuguese fighter Joao Carvalho died on Monday night after fighting on Saturday

Mick Dowling "shocked but not terribly surprised" by MMA death in Dublin

Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Cathal Noonan

The combat sports community in Ireland is in mourning after the tragic death of Joao Carvalho.

The Portuguese fighter died on Monday night in Dublin as a result of the damage suffered during a fight with Charlie Ward in the National Stadium on Saturday evening. Newstalk Lunchtime spoke to Olympic boxer and trainer Mick Dowling about the tragic news.

"I am shocked, but at the same time I am not terribly surprised. I have to say I was always holding my breath as to when this would happen in MMA. It's a tough sport. It's a hard sport."

"I don't know everything about MMA fighting. What I do know and what I've seen from it, it's a hard, tough sport. It's only the tough guys that can go into it. There is this risk of serious injury. Unfortunately for this young fighter it has happened to him."

The cause of Carvalho's death is not yet known, but Dowling feels the gloves used in MMA fights do not offer enough protection to the fighters. "When you get an accumulation of a lot of punches to the head, and I know the MMA fighters say; 'we dont take take as many punches as boxers do.' That may be the case, but they take punches and elbows as well to the head with very little protection on their hands."

"They are so small and they are so hard. I often look at them and say; "Wow, I would not like to be getting hit with that glove'"

"At least in boxing, both amateur and professional you have a minimum of eight ounce and probably more likely ten or 12 ounce gloves. There is very little padding in MMA gloves."

In a statement released by the promoters Total Extreme Fighting, they revealed to Carvalho received the normal medical procedures after the fight on Saturday. They said that the fighter "was assessed by doctors and medical staff at the onsite medical office as per normal procedure.  It was determined that he should be sent to hospital. In hospital he received emergency treatment and transferred to ICU later that evening."