MMA veteran Yves Edwards has been forced to overcome a lot of adversity throughout his ten-year fighting career. But nothing will ever compare to fighting less than three weeks after the death of his friend, Sammy Vasquez.
Vasquez (1-2), a 35-year-old mixed martial artist from Houston, Texas, died on November 30, 47 days after suffering a third-round knockout loss to Vince Libardi during a Renegades Extreme Fighting bout in Houston, TX. While the official cause of death has yet to be released his tragic passing is the first official one resulting from a sanctioned MMA fight.
Meanwhile, Edwards, one of the most celebrated fighters to come out of Houston, is forced to prepare for his fight against Alonzo Martinez (20-8) at HDNet Fights: Reckless Abandon this Saturday night.
Following three tough loses in a row, the American Top Team member returned to his winning ways with a victory over Nick Gonzalez at the November Elite XC show. He has signed a six-fight deal with the promotion but is free to fight with likes of HDNet Fights if he chooses.
This Saturday night, Edwards will be competing in his backyard of Dallas, TX, and will surely have more on his mind than submissions and striking.
I spoke to Edwards about his association with HDNet Fights, his future with Elite XC and, of course, the passing of his friend.
It’s been several days since the death of 35-year-old mixed martial artist Samuel Vazquez was first reported and, to be honest, I have had a hard time dealing with how we should cover this tragic news. I wanted to put up some kind of dedication post but I truly felt that it would trivialize the death of a man I didn’t know much about.
You see, since JarryPark.com‘s grand opening several months ago we have always said that we do not consider ourselves a news site. We like to view JP.com as the Outside the Lines to ESPN’s Sportscenter (on a MUCH smaller scale, of course). Our main problem was that there were a lot of question marks surrounding Vasquez and his injury so we really didn’t know what angle to take.
After reading great reaction posts by likes of Zach Arnold at FightOpinion.com and Luke Thomas of Bloodyelbow.com we felt as though there was certainly enough to talk to about at this point in time. Meaning, we were able to present an intelligent discussion on why this happened and how the sport can grow from this horrific news.
Below is our discussion with Thomas about how the media (including the web media) has covered the first official death in regulated MMA history, the fallout from it and what can be done to make sure a tragedy like this one never happens again.
Luke Thomas – 12/05/07
***Update: Please click here to read Sam Caplan’s response to our interview and, more specifically, the quote I attributed to him. He brings up valid points across the board and I sincerely apologize if he felt I misrepresented him. Obviously, that was not my intention.