Dillon Cleckler thought of Justin Thornton not solely an opponent however a good friend.
The two Mississippi-based fighters competed in opposition to one another twice – as soon as in MMA in 2013 and as soon as in bare-knuckle boxing on this previous August. Cleckler gained by first-round knockout on each events, however the second end resulted in extreme damage and finally Thornton’s dying.
Cleckler caught him with a proper hand, and Thornton fell to the canvas face first simply 18 seconds into the struggle. Thornton was taken out of the ring on a stretcher and reportedly had been hospitalized for the reason that struggle. According to a Sept. 23 publish on his private Facebook web page, Thornton was paralyzed and positioned on a ventilator with a tracheotomy and IV drip.
Thornton, 38, died Monday. His dying “devastated” Cleckler, who opened up in regards to the scenario in a prolonged Facebook publish Tuesday and wrote that pneumonia was the reason for dying.
“As a fighter nothing prepares you for the news I received this morning on my way to training,” Cleckler wrote. “Some of you may not of heard yet but my last opponent Justin Thornton passed away last night due to pneumonia. I can’t help but feel absolutely devastated about this because I’ve known Justin for years. Not many people know this but we fought 8 years ago and he told me right away he wanted the rematch. I know that when he got the phone call to finally get that rematch on a bigger stage he saw a huge opportunity and took it. Justin is a warrior. It’s in his blood to fight. He loved it. He fought anyone, anytime and anywhere and when I didn’t have an opponent, he still jumped at the opportunity to get in there with me again. Any man or woman who steps in the ring or the cage is special, [sic] they take a risk (that) 99.99% of the world would never take and sometimes I still don’t know why we do it but Justin was a fighter his entire life and deserves nothing but respect!! My thoughts and prayers are with Justin Thornton and his family at this time. RIP warrior.”
Belinda Brashier, a lady who recognized herself as Thornton’s older sister, commented on Cleckler’s publish with a quick assertion and requested folks to respect the Thornton household’s privateness throughout this time.
“Yes he loved (fighting) – we wish he had give up a long time ago but he died doing what he loved,” Brashier wrote. “He knew what could happen.”