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As the South Carolina Athletic Commission conducts an inquiry into the death of MMA fighter Michael Kirkham, the trainer of his opponent is attempting to raise money for the fallen fighter and his family.
Mark Greubel, who trained and cornered Carlos Iraburo for the fight this past Saturday that took Kirkham's life, has helped arrange donation methods to cover funeral costs and a trust fund for Kirkham's five children.
Donations can be dropped off in person at several locations or can be made online.
Kirkham, 30, failed to regain consciousness after Iraburo knocked him out at the June 26 "Confrontation at the Convocation Center" event, which took place at the USC Aiken Convocation Center in Aiken, S.C. He was taken to Aiken County Medical Center, where he died June 28 of a brain hemorrhage, according to the Aiken County Coroner's office. It was Kirkham's first professional bout following a six-fight amateur career.
The Coroner's office is currently conducting a full autopsy on Kirkham, though its initial diagnosis was that the fighter died from a direct blow to the head, according to a source close to Kirkham's family.
Kirkham, nicknamed "Tree" for his lanky 6-foot-9 frame, fought the 145-pound Iraburo at a catchweight of 150 pounds.
Kirkham did not carry life insurance and has five children.
Greubel said there are five locations where donations can be dropped off in person: The Pizza Joint in the Georgia cities of Aiken, Augusta and Evans; the Limelite Cafe in Augusta; and his gym, Greubel's MMA, also in Augusta.
Donations can be made online via PayPal at michaelkirkhammemorialfund.viviti.com. A link to the fund is also available on www.greubelsmma.com.
"I think with a nationwide effort we could definitely cover his funeral costs, but my ultimate goal is to have some trust funds set up for the guy's children," Greubel told MMAjunkie.com.