MMA pioneer Kevin “The Monster” Randleman (pictured) has reportedly died at the age of 44.
Former Team Hammer House teammate Wes Sims confirmed Randleman’s death Thursday night with Sherdog.com. According to Bleacher Report’s Jeremy Botter, Randleman was admitted into the hospital for pneumonia and subsequently passed of heart failure.
Randleman’s family confirmed his passing Friday morning on his unverified Facebook page:
“With saddened hearts, the Randleman family confirms the passing of Kevin “The Monster” Randleman. 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 & un-exectedly 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. All inquiries are directed to: [email protected]”
A sprightly Randleman was spotted just last week at the World MMA Awards in Las Vegas.
Randleman began his professional MMA career in 1996, compiling a 17-16 record before calling it quits in 2011 after dropping four straight fights. He was last seen getting submitted by Baga Agaev.
Although the two-time NCAA national champion wrestler from Ohio State University owned an average MMA record, he was one of the sport’s most recognizable athletes during its infancy due to his buff physique and bleach blond hair.
In addition to competing for the UFC, Randleman fought for Pride FC, Strikeforce, Sengoku among many other organizations.