Woman, 26, dies after brain injury in martial arts fight

Lucia Binding, news reporter

An amateur martial arts fighter has died after suffering a brain injury during a match.

Saeideh Aletaha, 26, collapsed during a "Fast And Furious Fight Series" event at the Central Hall venue in Southamptom on Saturday night.

The Iranian product design engineer, who lived in Salisbury, was taken to hospital in a critical condition but died the next day.

Inquiries into her death are ongoing, Hampshire Police said.

Southampton's Lookborai gym's shared a post following the tragedy.

It read: "Following the show Saturday we regret to announce that one of our team-mates unfortunately suffered an injury leaving her in a critical condition that she tragically will not recover from.

"Saeideh Aletaha was a lovely character with a beautiful soul. Her dedication to the sport was 110% travelling miles every day just to train.

"She found her place with us just a few months ago but has become a part of the family and will be sorely missed.

"This news comes as a devastating blow to us all at the gym and the whole community. Our thoughts and preys (sic) go out to her family."

A South Central Ambulance Service spokesman said an ambulance was sent to Central Hall shortly after 8.50pm on Saturday after a participant in a martial arts event was reported to have collapsed.

A statement from Hampshire Police said: "We were called shortly before 1am on Sunday November 17 by colleagues at Southampton General Hospital informing us of a woman who was being treated in hospital for a life-threatening brain injury.

"The woman, aged 26, died in hospital later that day.

"Inquiries into exactly what happened are ongoing. Next of kin have been informed."

Many tributes to Ms Aletaha have been posted online.

Stonehenge CrossFit described her as "popular, kind and liked by everyone" in a Facebook post.

The post added: "She was consistent with everyone; you knew you would be greeted with a smile, an embrace and conversation beyond the, 'Hi, how are you?' She cared. Everyone seemed to matter."

It also said that "more than 30 members" went to visit Ms Aletaha in hospital on Sunday, which was a "testament to her popularity".

Personal trainer Liam Mason also wrote: "In shock with the news that Sai Aletaha has passed away following her bout on Saturday. A Sport I have followed for years & never have I witnessed such a tragic event."