MMA fighter Jahreau Shepherd died in London on Saturday after being stabbed at his own birthday party. He was 30 years old. The Sun first reported the story and indicated that the incident occurred near an estate in Kennington, South London. Shepherd died on the scene after officers and paramedics attended to him and tried to stop the bleeding. Shepherd's mother was there, and one eyewitness said: "She was shouting 'Please keep going please save my baby.' She was screaming and wailing it was horrible to watch."
"He lived and breathed fighting," Shepherd's cousin, Tanisha Shepherd, told The Sun. "He had everything to live for. He helped keep the young people on the straight and narrow and was a role model." Shortly after the stabbing, a 26-yard old checked into a local hospital with stab wounds. No arrests have been made, but a murder investigation is underway. A GoFundMe page has been launched to cover funeral costs.
"In loving memory of Jahreau 'Nightmare' Shepherd we want to raise enough funds to give the champion the send off he deserves!" The statement on the GoFundMe page stated. It went to say Alpha Talent Management is raising money to cover the cost of the funeral and support the family. The organizers of the page are contacting the "UK MMA fraternity to come together and show some love for Jay, who has been such an integral part of this industry.
"Absolutely shocked to hear the news this morning," MMA commentator Michael Morgan wrote on Twitter. "A true gentleman inside and outside the cage. Rest in peace." Contenders, an MMA organization, released a statement on social media about the death of Shepherd.
"Everyone at Contenders is absolutely devastated to hear of Jahreau Shepherd‘s death," the statement read. It went on to say Shepherd, who was the promotion's welterweight champion, was hugely talented and great fun to be around. The statement also said Shepherd "was destined for the top" due to him winning titles in three different organizations.
Along with competing in Contenders, Shepherd fought under Cage Warriors and Bellator. His first MMA win came at Bellator 200 when he defeated Marcin Zywica in the first round due to doctor stoppage. In February, Shepherd defeated Quinten de Vreughtat Contenders 29 to be crowned welterweight champion.