Nearly six months after her husband died from injuries sustained in an amateur MMA bout, Margaret Anderson is still coming to terms with the circumstances of the loss.
25-year-old Christian Lubenga competed in an amateur lightweight bout at AMMO Fight League 10 in West Springfield, Massachusetts in March. Facing fellow debutant Cody McCracken, Lubenga ended up losing the bout via strikes in the third round.
Lubenga was taken to the hospital immediately after the loss for medical treatment but died just two days later. According to the autopsy conducted by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security, the cause of death was determined to be blunt force trauma to the head.
Speaking to CT Insider, Anderson indicated she is considering legal action and also expressed concerns about the supervision of her husband’s fight.
“There is no reason that someone 25 goes in healthy and doesn’t come out the other side.”
Anderson Feels Risks Aren’t Properly Outlined
The Massachusetts State Athletics Commission met several weeks after Lubenga’s death to examine the circumstances around the 25-year-old’s bout with McCracken. Nothing apparently came of those meetings, although the commission did approve the use of over $9,000 for Lubenga’s funeral costs.
Her husband’s death has led Anderson to do more research into MMA and the possible health risks associated with competition. Brain health has become a major concern in recent years for a number of sports, but Anderson feels that some of the potential health risks in MMA aren’t properly outlined to the fighters.
“That’s why you need trained professionals doing examinations before, during and after the rounds,” Anderson told CT Insider. “These are grown men hitting each other at full force. There’s a high risk of traumatic brain injury. One of the things that isn’t so apparent is that it’s dangerous. I don’t think (promoters) are telling the fighters.”
Lubenga was posthumously awarded a graduate degree in business analytics from Bridgeport University, which he was only a semester away from earning at the time of his death.
For Anderson and her 5-year-old son Gabby, coping with the loss of a husband and a father continues to be a difficult task.
“It’s been a lot of life transition without that key person. I’m really feeling that void. We had planned the next steps of our life together. It’s really hard.”
What do you make of Anderson’s comments on fighters being made aware of the risks associated with MMA competition?