Newport Beach, California—
Shane Del Rosario was admitted to the hospital, and that’s all that is for certain in the confusing mish-mash of news reporting over the last few days. To be clear, there isn’t one credible citation of Shane’s death at the time of this report, so it’s probably too soon to call the fight.
What we know:
The 30-year-old UFC heavyweight was admitted to the local Hoag Memorial Presbyterian Hospital in Newport Beach, California on November 26th following the sudden onset of cardiac arrest.
He was found unresponsive on the floor of his home on Tuesday morning by his roommate, Ian McCall. Del Rosario’s close friend—a UFC-signed flyweight—then called 911 and immediately administered CPR. Del Rosario was transported to Hoag Memorial Presbyterian’s Emergency Room in what was described as a “catastrophic cardiovascular collapse.”
The report of Del Rosario’s condition was released by MMA Fighting (SB Nation). In the article Jason House, Del Rosario’s manager, was quoted as saying, “He was brought to the hospital in full cardiac arrest.”
Reporting “cardiac arrest” could easily lead some to associate the term with death, but House continued to say, “He was resuscitated in the emergency room back to a stable heart rhythm and blood pressure.”
Following his resuscitation, Del Rosario was admitted—critically ill—to the Coronary Care Unit.
What we heard:
What happened after that is where reporting went wild.
Shane Del Rosario was pronounced dead in at least one article on the ESPN website. The article titled “Heavyweight Del Rosario dies” was published on November 28th under the byline of Josh Gross, but Gross denied writing the article. ESPN removed the article—a snapshot of which lives in infamy on the deadspin.com website—and continues to report that Del Rosario is “critical” via a link to an article published in USA Today.
Whether or not Josh Gross wrote the article, it was not the only instance of reporting that suggested Del Rosario had died. The same day that the ESPN article ran, UFC President Dana White tweeted the following condolences: “RIP Shane Del Rosario.”
Conflicting reports came in from source after source citing Shane’s condition.
Quotes proliferated from Colin Oyama, another of Shane’s friends and trainers, with a post from Team Oyama’s Facebook page saying, “[t]hank you for all your prayers and wishes. Shane fought till the very end and is in a better place now. We love you Shane!”
Then, following improvements in Del Rosario’s condition, Oyama offered an elated, “Start praying people cause [sic] we got a shot!” Shane was still alive and it was premature to call this fight.
As recently as this morning, individuals posting on twitter and slumz.boxden.com forums—claiming sources “close to the family”—stated, “[r]eports from the hospital are @Delrosariomma has brain activity now. According to his friends FB page he squeezed his moms [sic] hand. #comeback. He also adjusted his own body in bed… Let’s go SDR f!ght [sic] brother!!”
What we have just learned:
At roughly 9:00 p.m. Friday night, Team Oyama, citing the Del Rosario family’s wishes, posted the following clarification on the Team Oyama Facebook page:
Please understand that we are NOT [sic] a news service. Some of [u]s have been at his side every day hour after hour. We are trying to relay information as accurately as possible but we still must respect the privacy of Shane’s family. As such we will keep all information private until his family decides to release a statement. Thanks for your understanding in this matter.
A call to the Hoag Memorial Presbyterian Hospital on Saturday at 5:00 p.m. PST revealed that Shane is not listed as a patient, most likely as a result of his family requesting that his admission status remain confidential.
Where does that leave Del Rosario’s recovery?
Bleacherreport.com reported today that Del Rosario was taken off life support late Friday night and was, as of Saturday morning, “breathing on his own.”
In their article they cited Erik Apple via sherdog.com. Erik, Shane’s friend and training partner, is reported to have confirmed Del Rosario’s improved condition via text message.
Bleacher Report MMA Lead Writer Jeremy Botter also shared Apple’s words of caution: though this news is encouraging, Del Rosario’s cardiac condition still has him fighting for his life.
“All of these are positive signs. However, we just have to be patient and wait. These are not definitive signs. They could mean something, or they could mean nothing.”
As the world watches and waits, it is important to read responsibly, check the facts, and draw conclusions based on reliable sources.
Shane Del Rosario is critically ill, has been near death, and is now showing some hopeful signs of recovery. Shane started this as a world-class heavyweight fighter and he is competing now in a fight for his life.
Shane’s future is still uncertain, but he is still alive, and it’s too soon to call the fight.
By Matt Darjany