MMA fighter Justin Thornton dead aged 38 just weeks after brutal KO loss

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MMA star Justin Thornton has died at the age of 38, just weeks after he was knocked out during a fight.

Thornton was seriously hurt after being KO'd by Dillion Cleckler in a Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship event on August 20.

The bout lasted just 19 seconds with Thornton falling face first on the canvas after he was knocked out in the middle of the ring.

According to reports, he was partially paralysed after the fight and remains in hospital for several weeks.

BKFC president Dave Fledman confirmed Thornton's tragic passing in a statement on Monday.

It read: "This morning we were very saddened to be notified of the passing of one of our fighters, Justin Thornton, who competed at BKFC 20 on August 20, 2021.

"We join the rest of the combat sports community in sending our deepest condolences to his family and loved ones."

Tributes poured in for Thornton on social media after news broke of his sad passing.

One person wrote: "RIP to MMA Vet & BKFC fighter Justin Thornton who passed away this morning from injuries he sustained in a BKFC fight back in August. Really sad."

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Someone else said: "Awful to hear about Justin Thornton. A truly unfortunate reminder that all combat sports are dangerous and the athletes competing are risking quite a bit, both long-term and short."

Another Twitter user added: "R.I.P Justin Thornton so sad u have to leave this earth so soon…my thoughts and my prayer goes to u and your family…..MAY GOD REST YOUR SOUL."

A fourth person posted: "Awful news about Justin Thornton passing away due to injuries sustained in a BKFC fight. Thoughts are with his family at this tragic time."

Prior to his BKFC debut, Thornton was a regular on the MMA circuit and took on the likes of Lex McMahon and UFC heavyweights Chase Sherman, Walt Harris.

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