RELATIVES of an amateur martial arts fighter who died following a cage match have raised concerns about the size of her opponent.

Ms Aletaha, who lived in Salisbury in Wiltshire, died at Southampton General Hospital.

Born into a religious family, Saeideh “Sai” Aletaha was praised as a “breath of fresh air” and wanted to prove that being a Muslim woman was not restrictive.

A keen martial artist trained in Thai boxing, she was knocked down in the third round in her bout at the Fast And Furious Fight Series in Southampton on November 16, 2019.

She recovered after the fight but later collapsed and was taken to hospital in a life-threatening condition and died the next day.

Her family say her opponent, Janie Morgan, “seemed bigger and more muscled” than 26-year-old Ms Aletaha.

But an inquest into her death on Monday heard that she and her opponent weighed in at similar amounts.

In a statement read out at the inquest, Ms Aletaha’s family paid tribute to her as “a breath of fresh air bringing sunshine”.

They added: “Saeideh was always patient and the type of person who would help anyone with anything but would never ask anyone for a favour.

“Her dedication to her work, sport and being healthy and physically and mentally fit is something that everybody admired about her.

“It was very devastating for her family to lose Saeideh alone and so far away in such an accident.”

Richard Harding, promoter of the Fast And Furious Fight Series, said the matchmaking – pairing up fighters – was the “most important” part of the show.

He told the inquest that Ms Aletaha and her opponent were of similar height and had similar reach.

Mr Harding said Ms Aletaha was slightly slimmer, with her counterpart wider in the shoulders.

Addressing what happened, he said: “Losing someone like this is very hard for everyone.

“This is the absolute worst thing that could happen but I am fully confident that we did as much as we could.”

The coroner was told that there was as little as 100g separating the two fighters’ weights at the weigh-in.

Friends watching the fight said the first two rounds were fairly even, before Ms Aletaha’s opponent started to “dominate”.

One of them, Anthony Thomas-Shergold, said in a statement that it was “obvious” that Janine Morgan was “much bigger”.

He described the moment in the third round where Ms Aletaha was “caught with a straight right cross” which knocked her out.

Oliver Pike said she was unconscious for “a couple of minutes” before coming round.

He said in his statement: “Sai didn’t say anything, she just walked out to the back.

“I knew that something was wrong with her.”

Mr Pike later found his friend collapsed in the toilet and saw paramedics take her to hospital in an ambulance.

She was taken to surgery but later died.

Mr Pike added: “Sai was the type of person that would never admit that she was hurt and would tell everyone that she was OK.

“I do have concerns that Sai was allowed to go to the toilet alone after being knocked out.”

Janie Morgan said in a statement that as soon as she saw her go down in the third round she stepped back to allow medical staff to attend to her.

After the fight she spoke to Ms Aletaha to check she was OK, the inquest heard.

Ms Morgan expressed her condolences to Ms Aletaha’s family.

The inquest continues.