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Karate Combat president provides update on James Vick following scary knockout loss

Former UFC fighter James Vick was on the wrong end of one of the scariest combat sports knockouts you’ll ever see at Karate Combat 47 this past Friday night.

Vick was knocked unconscious by a switch kick from Rafael Alves, capping off one of the craziest events in promotional history. Vick was out cold for quite some time before being sent to the hospital, but reports began to circulate about how bad things actually got for Vick after that kick.

Karate Combat president Asim Zaidi gave his reaction, and also provided clarity on the situation.

“I’ll tell you this: The event, this was supposed to be an event for our prospects, sort of a filler event, a smaller Karate Combat to set up our bigger shows,” Zaidi told MMA Fighting. “It was going so well, and just everything about it was just so electrifying and perfect — even the whole brawl, strangle incident was hilarious. The crowd was chanting, they had a great time with it. No one got hurt. It worked out in a very positive way, everything was happy, and at that moment when James Vick got knocked out, I could no longer be happy.

“It really sucked because it was one of the most successful shows, sold out crowd, everyone is cheering. I could have went home and had a very great night and celebrate a wonderful event, and I couldn’t because my heart was broken because it was such a tough knockout. It’s hard for me to watch the video. It really is like when I see the video of that knockout, it is not easy to watch. I cringe watching it and, it was just as bad as everything [that’s been] said.

“Yes, he was KO’d, he was out for a while. We didn’t show it on the broadcast, but he seized. They took him into the ambulance, he needed help breathing, they put some tubes for some breathing. It’s hard for me to talk about it, you know, but thank God he recovered and everything is fine.”

Vick’s UFC run ended with four straight losses, including three knockouts by Justin Gaethje, Dan Hooker, and Niko Price, and then was stopped by Andre Fialho in his first fight outside of the octagon for XMMA. The 37-year-old pivoted to the boxing world where he picked up consecutive knockout wins, and then tried his hand in the Karate Combat pit, going 1-2 with all three fights going to the scorecards.

After 14 months out of the promotion, Vick returned and suffered the jaw-dropping knockout. Despite the aftermath, and the scary nature of the situation, “President Awesome” says that when Vick regained consciousness and started talking about the fight, he seemed to have a grasp of how things went down once he put the pieces together.

While that’s all well and good, Zaidi would not like to see Vick competing again — for Karate Combat, or anywhere else.

“He woke up and I went to go visit him and what’s crazy is I was there right when he woke up and, he’s like, ‘Man, what did I mess up? What did he hit me with? And I said, ‘He hit you with a switch kick,’” Zaidi said. “He’s like, ‘Oh, he went low, then went high,’ I said, ‘Yeah, one kick went to your leg, one went to your head. He’s like, ‘Oh I dropped my hands when I checked the kick.’ He understood everything, man. So we’re talking about strategical mistakes immediately when he woke up, which made me feel so much better and showed how showed how aware he is.

“Thank God he’s good now, he’s been discharged, he’s home, and he can hopefully, take a break and I would not like to see him in the pit again. … “I hate to say it and I I don’t want to to sound heartless, but I just can’t bring him back to Karate Combat, and I don’t think he should fight again. I hate to say that because he’s a warrior. But he has a wonderful school, he coaches many, many amazing talented young fighters. I think it’s time to say, hey, that’s my path and that’s what I’m going to go on to, and he was successful, man. There’s a time where he was 9-1 in the UFC. So he was a successful dude, and I think that part of his life is over and now it’s time to focus on his amazing talents and students that he has.”

Zaidi hopes that Vick will appear as a coach and cornerman for his fighters for years to come, and is also open to Vick being part of the Karate Combat broadcast team.

But when asked where Vick’s heart was at, Zaidi said that there seemed to be no signs of him wanting to walk away from competition.

“He mentioned the opposite,” Zaidi explained. “He actually said he wanted to come back. He actually told one of the Karate Combat staff that he wanted to fight again. I didn’t want to even talk to him about that, and it’s just, it’s not going to happen. It’s just, I can’t allow that to happen for his own safety and I think he he has a great mind in the sport and can find other great avenues to be successful to create, and further his legacy.”


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