We are sad to report the infant son of professional mixed martial artist Marcus Kowal has passed away during Labor Day weekend after being struck by a suspected drunk driver in a hit-and-run Sunday afternoon in Hawthorne, Calif.

Marcus personally announced his sons departure on his Facebook page in sharing his gratitude to his combative art community for their support in this very difficult time.

“I want to thank everyone who has been there for us, in all forms and shapes. Thoughts, prayers, in person – whatever. We’ve received 100s and 100s of txt messages, emails, fb messages, etc – we are blown away. Your support means the world to us.

About an hour ago, our baby was declared brain dead. He tried to fight so hard. He even died at one point but they brought him back. He’s a little fighter. His heart is still beating but his brain is no longer working.

Our hearts are broken and there’s a void in my soul but we will get through this.

Again, your support means the world and I wish we could respond to each and every one of you but right now, we are going work through this.”

Thank you.

RIP Liam Mikael Kowal. 5/25/2015-9/4/2016

According to a press release from the Hawthorne Police Department the incident was a hit-and-run and witnesses followed the 72-year-old perpetrator and blocked her with their vehicles until police arrived:

“On September 3rd, 2016 at approximately 4:15 pm, Hawthorne Police Department officers were dispatch to the intersection of 133rd street and Hawthorne Blvd in regards to a vehicle verse pedestrian traffic collision. Hawthorne Patrol Officers responded to the scene where they located two injured juveniles lying in the street near the crosswalk. One of the victims, a 15 year old female, was suffering from what appeared to be leg injuries while a second victim, a 15 month old baby still in its baby stroller, was found pulseless and not breathing. Officers administered CPR to the critically injured baby while awaiting the arrival of LA Count Fire rescue units. Arriving rescue personnel took over the treatment of both victims and transported them to Harbor UCLA Medical Center. The 15 year old female is reported to be in stable condition while the baby is in ICU.

The Hawthorne Police Department Traffic Bureau responded to the scene to conduct its investigation. During the course of the investigation it was determined that the 15 year old female was pushing a baby stroller inside the crosswalk when a SUV, driven by a 72 year old female later identified as Donna Marie Higgins, drove through the crosswalk striking both victims. The driver of the SUV then fled the scene northbound followed by witnesses to the crash. The witnesses followed Higgins for about a block before they were able to block Higgins’ vehicle with their own cars until police arrived on scene.

As part of our standard protocol in a crash of this nature, field sobriety tests were administered to Higgins. Following the investigation, it was determined that Higgins was driving a vehicle while intoxicated and she was placed under arrest for felony hit and run as well as felony drunk driving. Higgins was booked into Hawthorne jail on the above charges with a $100,000 bail.”

Born in Gothenburg, Sweden, Marcus Kowal is a professional kickboxer, boxer, and mixed martial arts athlete.

Kowal began his martial arts journey through Karate and Aikido while still a young teenager and became well-versed in multiple disciplines, winning the K2 World Title in kickboxing in 2002 and placing second in both the 2004 Golden Gloves and 2005 Title Boxing World Championships. After studying under Rickson Gracie, Rafael Cordeiro, and UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum, he made his professional MMA debut in 2009 and was competing for major promotions, including Strikeforce, shortly thereafter.

Kowal (3-1-1 MMA) serves as the Lead MMA Training Instructor and Owner of Systems Training Center as well as the CEO and Co-Founder of In addition, he is the host and MMA specialist for StudioMMA and MMANytt.

Funeral arrangements are being scheduled.

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