RAPID CITY, S.D. | Funeral services were held Wednesday for a Sturgis man who died one week after competing in a mixed martial arts competition at Rushmore Plaza Civic Center in Rapid City.
Dustin Jenson, 26, was participating in full-contact fights at a RingWars event May 18 when he tapped out — a signal to end the fight. According to his mother-in-law, Violet Schieman, Jensen then watched the next two fights before going to the locker room area, where he suffered a seizure.
"He laid down to do his stretches, and another fighter heard a moan," Schieman said. "He went over and saw Dustin having a seizure. They called an EMT, which took him to Rapid City Regional Hospital."
Schieman said medical personnel determined that Jenson had increased pressure on his brain and put him in a medically induced coma before surgery was performed to relieve pressure. He was declared dead May 24 and was taken off life support the next day, Schieman said.
"He did not wake up after the surgery and was declared brain dead at 10:23 a.m.,” she said. “He remained on life support until his organs were donated."
Jenson, a husband and a father, was participating in only his fifth fight since taking up the sport less than a year ago.
His funeral service was scheduled for 2 p.m. at First Wesleyan Church in Sturgis. An autopsy had been scheduled for Tuesday.
Schieman, who was not at the fight, said her daughter, Jenson’s wife Rebecca Jenson, and several others told her the violence in the fight was "nothing out of the ordinary."
"Doctors have watched the video and said it shouldn't have happened," Schieman said. "They said the fight may have triggered a brain aneurysm, but it was not overly violent."
Civic center general manager Brian Maliske said Tuesday that he knew that one of the fighters had become ill after tapping out of his fight, but that was the extent of his knowledge of what happened.
Maliske said he was unsure how or if the death would affect the scheduling of future MMA events at the civic center.
"Obviously, if it is connected to the injury here, then we will have to look at and see how it would affect us and what we want to do into the future," he said.