Sports Gazette

by sports journalism students at St Mary's University, London

‘I thought I was going to see my first death in MMA’ The story of Konrad Jaskiewicz

Posted on 11 July 2020 by Jake Jones
Remond vs Jaskiewicz, via Contenders MMA.

‘Ohh my goodness what is going on? He is out, he is out, stop the fight!’

These were the words of Contenders MMA play-by-play commentator Mark Heath at Contenders 26 on the 18th of May 2019.

The Polish MMA fighter Konrad Jaskiewicz was left unconscious in his bout with Aurelian Remond.

Jaskiewicz, 23 at the time, was an undefeated professional mixed martial artist, training out of Avaddon MMA in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire.

He came into the fight a promising prospect after scoring an impressive first-round knockout of Baruc Martin at Contenders 24 in September 2018.

Jaskiewicz was up against another rising MMA star in France’s Remond, who was also undefeated in his early career.

Despite the fight lasting just 30 seconds, the damage Jaskiewicz sustained in that time was enough to end his career.

Watch the video below to see the incident. WARNING: viewing discretion is advised.

Both fighters met in the middle of the octagon, where Jaskiewicz immediately pulled guard and went for a leglock on his opponent.

However, Remond had prepared for this and began raining down shots on his opponent from a stacked guard.

Initially, Jaskiewicz continued attempts to secure his leg lock. However, Remond landed more clean strikes and it was clear Jaskiewicz was no longer conscious.

He was out for nearly five minutes and was left with a broken jaw and a six-month suspension from fighting.

I was able to speak to various experienced individuals, who gave me their views on what happened and what was to follow.

One was the former President of the UK Mixed Martial Arts Federation (UKMMAF), Windy Miller, a judging official that night.

Miller has had over 44 years mixed martial arts experience and has been closely involved in the sport’s expansion across the UK.

He runs Blue Wave Martial Arts in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk and is regularly entrusted as a judge at UK events such as Contenders MMA, Cage Warriors and Cage Warriors South East Academy.

Miller (pictured) at Cage Warriors South East Academy #24.

Miller told me: ‘I thought I was going to see my first death in MMA.

‘I was cage side during the time…it was one of the most horrific things I have ever seen.’

Miller could see how concerned Jaskiewicz’s team were and put me in contact with head coach Chris Ellingdon.

‘He was an up and coming guy. He was an undefeated professional fighter with a lot of potential. He has been in my gym since he was 13-years-old,’ Ellingdon said.

‘I’ve never seen him since and this was a while ago. He is done now, he is retired.

‘He had a broken jaw in a couple of places, a broken nose. It has definitely scarred him.’

Jaskiewicz had trained under Ellingdon for nearly 10 years, but he has not fought since and has never returned to training in the UK.

This incident is one of the many cases where a life-long athlete appears to have walked away from the sport because of the risk and dangers that can occur when becoming a fighter.

Jaskiewicz (middle) with Ellingdon (left).

When an incident like this happens, especially in a sport that has such a negative stigma surrounding its ethical standpoint, you would expect efforts to ensure this is rectified.

I have contacted IMMAF and the referee involved in the case, to try to comment on the fight but received no responses.

On February 18th, at a Bellator MMA event Dublin, I sat down with the commissioner for Bellator and the Director of Athletic Regulation at Mohegan Tribe, Mike Mazzulli.

Mazzulli has been President of the Athletic Boxing Commission for many years and helped write the unified rules of MMA, alongside the pioneers of the sport.

Mike Mazzulli prior to Bellator Dublin.

I showed the fight footage to Mazzulli, who described it as ‘extremely scary’.

‘If you see who I am using tonight, all my officials are ABC trained and the onus is on the commission’ Mazzulli said.

‘They are responsible for making sure it is safe, and this is what I always tell them in my rules meeting. There are two things I am here for, the safety of the fighters and fair play, they are the two things I worry about

‘I knock on wood every day and pray that something doesn’t happen.’

Mazzulli says he has a carefully selected team of experienced officials he takes with him around the world to officiate MMA events.

There is still no news on Jaskiewicz and whether or not he has returned to training. However, earlier this year, he posted images on social media of the surgery he needed after the bout.

He captioned this with the hashtags of #roadtorecovery #nosesurgery and #AvaddonMMA.

Last October, he also posted this image which translates to:

‘There comes a time in a man’s life when he carries a cross, stretched with pain, suffering, unfulfilled dream and a lack of joyful perspectives.

‘Often this cross crushes him, it’s hard to get up, find the meaning of further existence.

‘But I’m telling you to stand up and fight. It’s your life, your greatest treasure.’