Kevin Randleman dead: Former UFC heavyweight champion dies aged 44

Randleman was admitted to hospital on Thursday with phneumonia before suffering heart failure

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The Independent Online

Former UFC heavyweight champion Kevin Randleman has died at the age of 44 after suffering heart failure caused by pneumonia.

The 44-year-old, who was married to former publicist Elizabeth Broglia and the father of four, was admitted to hospital in San Diego on Thursday after suffering from pneumonia. It was later reported that he had died from heart failure.

A statement released by Randleman’s family on his official Facebook page read: “With saddened hearts, the Randleman family confirms the passing of Kevin “The Monster” Randleman.

With saddened hearts, the Randleman family confirms the passing of Kevin “The Monster” Randleman. Behind the name, was...

Posted by KEVIN THE MONSTER RANDLEMAN on Friday, 12 February 2016

 

“Behind the name, was a gentle soul & loyal friend whom will be missed by many who loved him beyond the cage. The Ohio State University, UFC, MMA, & Sandusky, Ohio communities share in the loss of Kevin’s passing.

“While traveling on business, Kevin became ill & unexpectedly passed due to complications from pneumonia. Kevin leaves behind a wife & four extraordinary children to share his legacy with the world who mourns his passing. Life without “The Monster” will never be the same.

“The family requests respect & privacy during this difficult time. Kevin’s family is grateful for the outpour of Love & support.”

A star in both UFC and Pride, Randleman first challenged for the UFC heavyweight championship in 1999 in the same year as his debut in the company, and despite losing to Bas Rutten, he would beat Pete Williams to clinch the vacant title in November at UFC 23 following Rutten’s retirement.

After successfully defending the championship against Pedro Rizzo, Randleman lost to UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture at UFC 28, and elected to move down to light heavyweight for the remainder of his UFC career.

He suffered a loss to another Hall of Famer in Chuck Liddell in his opening light heavyweight bout, before defeating Renato Sobral in his final UFC appearance that then triggered a move to Pride.

Known as “The Monster”, Randleman achieved his greatest victory in Pride in 2002 when he knocked out Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic in the first round in what remains one of the biggest upsets in MMA history.

Randleman retired in 2011 after continuing to fight in the Strikeforce promotion, leaving the sport with a record of 17 wins and 16 losses, and he was in attendance at the World MMA Awards in Las Vegas just last week.

UFC president Dana White led the tributes to Randleman, with many fighters down the years paying their respects to the former world champion, and White chose to dedicate his regular “Dana White’s Clip of the Day” to Randleman by including his brutal suplex takedown of Fedor Emelianenko.

 

Kevin my friend , my sorrows swell and my heart sinks as the sun sets on our journey. I embrace the memories of our time together in laughter , in the heat of combat , and in tears as we stumbled through this world. I never dreamed that I would sit alone decades later in reflection at the adventures we shared. I see your swagger and smile , eyes twinkle with devious delight as you bounded high in intimidating preparation for battle always aware that all eyes were on you. Magnetic and powerful you seemed to glow with anticipation at what the struggle would bring. You showed me the reward of daily toil and the joys of reckless abandon. You lived a life unimagined by most with a philosophy of someone who seemed to know both sides of the coin. We battled vicious demons , some side by side, and reveled in the victories always willing to share the spoils with any one in need. This life you led laid open an example of happiness and freedom for countless souls including mine that we would never have had the strength or courage to face on our own. We went willingly with you and witnessed mercy, compassion, and the miracle that was you to all those you touched and wisdom through your falls. There is no explanation, excuse , or apology for your life because it requires none! The good was great , the bad was -well bad. It was 100% Kevin and I'am blessed to have shared it. See you on the other side. Randy Couture

A photo posted by Randy Couture (@xcnatch) on

Randleman married his college girlfriend Barbara in August 2000 before they divorced in May 2005, and he married Broglia in April 2009.

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