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The Tragedy of the Murder of Sergio Salcido

Two young men were gunned down on the Mexican side of the U.S. border yesterday morning – sadly, an all-too-common occurrence in the violent and near-lawless country as of late. But what makes this news relevant to the MMA world is that one of the victims, Sergio Salcido, was a cage fighter. NBCSanDiego and Mike Chiappetta over at MMA Fighting have the facts, which are: the two victims, close friends who lived in Tijuana, were in their pickup truck on their way to work; the assailant fired into the victims’ heads, arms and bodies before fleeing on foot; the 25-year-old Salcido was a veteran of Gladiator Challenge and Tachi Palace Fights and had nine bouts on his record; he and his friend were described by their boss as good, clean-cut guys; and finally, the authorities have yet to determine a motive.

Tragic? Of course it is. It is a senseless murder. But MMA Junkie tracked down one of Salcido’s friends in the MMA world, fighter and mentor Dominique Robinson, and the additional color to the story paints the picture that the sport somehow let Salcido down. Salcido, it seems, was unable to find success as an MMA competitor, and was forced to move to Tijuana – where the cost of living is lower – to save money. Said Robinson, “The reason he was moving everywhere is because of promises, and they were empty promises. Everyone lives in their bubble, and they ignore what’s going on.” He went on to add, “These sponsors only help the people who made it. These promotions, they show favoritism and put in who they want to and [expletive] over people. Trainers don’t train people if they’re not big names. It’s all the stuff I went through. Sergio left Bakersfield for San Diego for the promise of a team and coaches and fighting more, the prospect of these things that people were telling him.”

Despite what Robinson may believe, the only one at fault for Salcido’s murder is the mystery assailant who fired his 9mm weapon at Salcido and his friend. No one else. The sport owed no more of a duty to provide Salcido with gainful employment than it does you or I. Which isn’t say that there is no charity or altruism in the MMA world – there is. Just ask that little girl whose liver transplant Dana White paid for last year, or the scores of gravely ill fans who are visited by fighters or treated to a VIP experience at a UFC event. The sport has always given back to the community that’s helped make it. But at the end of the day, no one is truly “owed” anything. Not the girl who White helped, not the other sick fans, and not Sergio Salcido.

“He wouldn’t have been there if MMA didn’t fail him,” said Robinson, but that’s wrong. Blaming MMA for Salcido being forced to live in a dangerous part of the world is akin to blaming MMA when a lunatic carves up his friend. It just doesn’t make sense.

It’s a tragedy that MMA has lost one of its own. Attempting to make the sport culpable, though, only makes the senselessness of the tragedy worse.

Image via Dave Mandel for Sherdog

  • Anonymous

    What a tragedy.
    I’ve been to Tijuana numerous times and have witnessed gruesome actions by locals, these people don’t kill out o the blue they are either owed money or had some kind of a confrontation. Sergio was an mma fighter and in my opinion probably kicked someones ass who didn’t like it so much. Whatever the does not justify taking someones life.

  • Anonymous

    What a tragedy.
    I’ve been to Tijuana numerous times and have witnessed gruesome actions by locals, these people don’t kill out o the blue they are either owed money or had some kind of a confrontation. Sergio was an mma fighter and in my opinion probably kicked someones ass who didn’t like it so much. Whatever the does not justify taking someones life.

  • mmamaverick

    Leo the Mexican side of border including Tijuana, are the most dangerous areas in all of Mexico. They have the highest unemployment rates leading to gangs and pirates throughout the lakes. Google it. Truly a tragedy.

    • Anonymous

      I go to Mexico twice a year, no need to google.

  • shirts

    There is no other way to sum it up, TJ is a shit hole. I have had my share of cheap tequila, cheap drugs, and cheap hookers. To top it off I have blown up hotel rooms, clocked their cops, spent time in their jails, paid off many honest Policia during my conquests…as the goal was to surf more than my share of Baja waves….as the plan was to always have a little fun south of the border, when I wasn’t in or on ocean.

    Reading that the young Salcido was from Bakersfield (a busted economic region teaming with Mexican illegals), to Slum Diego (not every part of San Diego is beach front, but full of Mexican illegals), and on down to that shit hole known as Tijuana (where all the illegal Mexicans come from) this guy named Salcido was sliding fast….did he even realize it? Possibly not. Possibly as he so into the MMA persona and thinking he was in the fast lane that he failed to realize the true “King of any Cage” is measured in hot lead directed from the barrel of drug cartel shot callers.

    I respect the fact that not every man is cut from the same cloth nor does each have the same mix of bravado, cojones, and intellect. As the author stated: “ one owes you anything…” and some do fall victim to chasing their dreams…even when headed in the wrong direction. In this case it’s now clear poor Sergio Salcido should have headed north, not south.

    Yet, the fact is the betting, gaming, and wagering that revolves around full contact sports venues has historically been a scam for a pit of vipers (known as promoters) who rip off and defraud many young, unsophisticated, and dreamy fighter. It’s not much different than the flat chested chick that thinks she is headed to Hollywood to become famous. Instead of the part in the movie — she ends up disillusioned, strung out on drugs, and is best know for making cheap porn flicks.

    If one is brutalized or murdered in Tijuana, the odds are he fucked the wrong mans girl, burned someone in a narcotics scheme gone bust, beat up the wrong cartel strong man, failed to pay a bribe, didn’t do as he was told, or got punk’ed and was working as a drug informant.

  • mmamaverick

    or crossed the border

  • Anonymous

    honestly it would not surprise me if it had anything to do with the underground betting scene

  • Jerome

    People need to understand that no one gets kills by no reason. all the kills that happens there is “ajuste de cuentas” meaning settle a score. You own money, you mess with the wrong guy, you knew to much about someone or someting. you fuck a Narco girlfriend.
    It could have been that the guy may kick someones ass and did not know who he was, after all many Narcos ( drug lords) go to the best night clubs in Tijuana and they are very arrogant , and sometimes people have no idea who they are and end up fighting for some drinks or a girl.
    if you ever do that those people have no honor , they will get their revenge , giving you the beating of your life or ending it.
    most of the weapons down there are illegally cross from the U.S to Mexico.
    so they are armed and with the money from the drugs they get selling them to Americans
    who pay top dollar , they get a lot of power in a corrupt city.

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