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Former UFC heavyweight champion Kevin Randleman dead at 44

Former UFC heavyweight champion Kevin Randleman died today. He was 44 years-old.

The death was reported by Jeremy Botter on Twitter.

Randleman is remembered by many fight fans for his aggressive, entertaining style and his wrestling, which served him well throughout his career.

After losing to Bas Rutten for the vacant UFC belt in May of 1999, Randleman won the belt that November against  Petey Williams and defended against Pedro Rizzo in June of 2000, before losing it five months later to Randy Couture.

After the UFC, Randleman carved out careers in PRIDE, Strikeforce and even All-Japan Pro as a professional wrestler.

In PRIDE, his 2004 upset win over Mirko Filipovic shocked the MMA world. His suplex of Fedor Emelianko, which dumped the legend violently on his head, is still etched in the minds of many fight fans.

Randleman was known for speaking his mind, as he did here in a 2011 interview with MMA Inside the Cage.

He is expected to be a shoo-in candidate for the UFC Hall-of-Fame.

Randleman is survived by his wife Elizabeth and three children.

A GoFundMe account has been set up by friends to help with expenses.  The target is $50,000 USD.


Kenai is a former Postmedia Network online news and sports editor. He is the Editor-in-Chief for MMA Crossfire.

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