Bodybuiler Dallas “Big County” McCarver has died at the age of 26, TMZ reported Tuesday.
McCarver, who was in a relationship with WWE Superstar Dana Brooke, died shortly after midnight August 22 and was found unconscious by a friend at his home in Florida, the news outlet reported. He was found dead shortly after speaking on the phone to Brooke, whose real name is Ashley Mae Sebera.
According to TMZ, McCarver was transported to a nearby hospital, but was pronounced dead upon arrival. There are no signs of foul play, and Brooke said she believed he died choking on a piece of food, adding there were no signs he ever intended on harming himself.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. McCarver’s Last Words to Brooke Were ‘I Love You, Goodbye’
Brooke, who’s on the road with WWE, told TMZ that her boyfriend was about to make dinner when the two spoke on the phone in the evening August 21. She said his last words to her were, “I love you, goodbye.”
Her last Instagram post was eerily dedicated to McCarver. In it, she posted a photo of the couple with the caption: “Still got some time left to post #mcm — someone who Day in and day out is helping and giving so much to so many people !@dallasmccarver is one of the most genuine people I have ever met.”
Earlier in the day, McCarver appeared to be fine, as he posted an Instagram video of him at the gym lifting 160-pound dumbbells.
2. McCarver Burst Onto the Scene in 2012
McCarver burst onto the bodybuilding scene in 2012 and was noted as an “unknown newcomer” during the 2012 NPC North Americans by FlexOnline.com.
McCarver was just 21 at the time and was at his third-ever bodybuilding competition. He ended up winning the Super Heavyweight class and the Overall category.
At that time, McCarver stood 6-foot-1 and weighed just over 300 pounds.
McCarver is originally from Tennessee and was an IFBB professional bodybuilder.
According to GreatestPhysiques.com, he “created a lot of buzz in the professional competition circuit, due to his gargantuan size and excellent proportionality.”
McCarver played football in high school, and that’s where he fell in love with weightlifting. His first bodybuilding show was back in 2011 at the NPC Hub City Fitness Quest, an event he won, the website wrote. He accomplished quite a phenomenal feat by earning his pro card at just 21.
4. McCarver Was Part of the 2017 Arnold Classic
McCarver took part in the 2017 Arnold Classic back in March in Ohio.
McCarver’s website documented his preparation for the bodybuilding competition with a series of videos.
“At this point we are a little more than 10 weeks out, and Dallas is sitting at an incredible 330lbs,” a blog post on his website said.
McCarver ended up placing second in the Open Bodybuilding competition to Cedric McMillan, who placed first.
5. Brooke & McCarver Were Dating for Months
It’s unclear exactly how long the couple had been dating, however social media posts indicate their relationship had been ongoing for nearly one year.
Brooke is a former bodybuilder herself, holding several championships before earning her pro card in 2012. She placed 12th at the 2013 European Arnold Classic and then 13th at the Arnold Classic in the U.S. in 2015.
In June 2013, Brooke signed a contract with WWE and started wrestling in NXT, the company’s developmental promotion. Her first TV appearance was in 2014 at a pay-per-view event.
On May 9, 2016, Brooke made her debut on the main roster, appearing on an episode of Raw alongside former NXT partner Emma.
She also took part in the 2017 Arnold Classic while wrestling for WWE.