Kevin Randleman, a former NCAA champion wrestler and UFC Heavyweight champion from Sandusky, Ohio, is dead. According to CNN's Jeremy Botter, Randleman went to the hospital for pneumonia and had heart failure. The news was confirmed to Sherdog by Wes Sims, a former training partner of Randleman's at Team Hammer House.
R.i.p to my uncle Kevin Randleman— Jaquan (@JaquanJackson8) February 12, 2016
Randleman, a former Ohio State great, was a two-time NCAA champion in the early Nineties before turning to MMA, a sport he helped pioneer, with a blue belt in Brazilian jujitsu.
Nicknamed "The Monster," here he is dropping Fedor Emelianenko on his neck at PRIDE COUNTDOWN 2004 in Saitma, Japan:
RIP Kevin Randleman pic.twitter.com/M3ttQdDS2J— caposa (@GrabakaHitman) February 12, 2016
And here he is knocking out fellow MMA legend Mirko Cro Cop that same year:
Randleman, one of 11 kids who rose above a hardscrabble life in Sandusky by going from street fights to international pay-per-view events, was tragically only 44 at the time of this passing.
Former Buckeye running back Robert Smith speaks for all Ohio State fans here:
Man, sad to hear about Kevin Randleman passing away. We were at OSU together, always had fun with him. He was the definition of toughness.— robert smith (@Robert26Smith) February 12, 2016