Kevin Randleman, who previously held the UFC heavyweight title, has passed away. He was 44 years old.
According to a report by Jeremy Botter, Randleman went to the hospital with pneumonia and suffered heart failure.
Sad to confirm the passing of MMA pioneer Kevin Randleman at 44 years old. Went to hospital with pneumonia and had heart failure.
— Jeremy Botter (@jeremybotter) February 12, 2016
Randleman posted a record of 17-16 during his MMA career. His final pro bout came in 2011 when he lost to Baga Agaev via submission while competing for Pro FC.
Prior to fighting, Randleman won two NCAA Div. I wrestling titles and was a three-time finalist in all. He began his MMA career in 1996 and won his five fights before suffering a submission loss in ’97.
He signed with the UFC in 1999 and was entered into a tournament to crown a heavyweight champion. After defeating Maurice Smith via decision, Randleman lost to Bas Rutten via split decision. Later that year, he defeated Pete Williams for the vacant title and successfully defended it vs. Pedro Rizzo before losing to Randy Couture in 2000.
Randleman fought Chuck Liddell and lost via knockout in 2001 and defeated Renato Sobral the next year for his final UFC appearance before competing a number of times for PRIDE.
Among this opponents in PRIDE were Fedor Emelianenko, Mirko Cro Cop, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, Murilo “Ninja” Rua, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Kazushi Sakuraba.