South Dakota-based mixed martial artist Dustin Jenson is dead at
the age of 26.
Jenson passed away one week after competing on May 18 at Ring Wars
74 at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center in Rapid City, S.D.,
according to a report from the Rapid City Journal.
Jenson competed on the card against a fighter named Hayden Hensrud,
tapping out to a triangle choke in the second round. Though the
fighter engaged in an extended struggle to escape the hold, he
could not free himself and was forced to submit. Jenson, who
appeared to sustain no hard blows to the head during the bout, did
not lose consciousness and stood up almost immediately after the
fight was called.
Jenson’s mother-in-law, Violet Schieman, told the Rapid City
Journal that Jenson then watched the next two fights on the card
before heading back to the locker room, where he reportedly
suffered a seizure. Another fighter apparently discovered Jenson’s
condition and called for emergency medical attention, at which
point Jenson was taken to Rapid City Regional Hospital, where
personnel determined that the fighter suffered from increased
pressure on his brain.
Jenson was then reportedly placed into a medically-induced coma and
underwent surgery to relieve the pressure. According to the Rapid
City Journal, Jenson never awoke from the surgery and was declared
dead on May 24. The fighter was competing in just his fifth amateur
bout since beginning his MMA career less than one year ago, though
none of those bouts have been officially recorded online.
Sherdog.com contacted Jessica West, an amateur fighter based out of
Wyoming who was present at Ring Wars 74, to gather more details
about the event. West says she has taken photographs and video for
Ring Wars for roughly 13 months and made her amateur debut this
March at Ring Wars 72.
West says she knew Jenson as a fellow fighter and was present at
four of Jenson’s Ring Wars appearances, visiting with him in the
locker room and chatting with her colleague over Facebook regarding
his upcoming fights.
“He was always upbeat and prepared for his fights. He was a very
ambitious young man,” West told Sherdog on Friday. “When you are
involved in this sport, we all come together with one interest and
become one giant family. We [pool our] talent and skills to make
ourselves better, and we encourage each other to do our best and
meet the goals that we set for ourselves.”