The MMA world has been given some shocking news as has been announced that Kevin Randleman has passed away at the age of 44.
On his Facebook page, it was revealed that the former UFC Champion and MMA pioneer had passed away "due to complications from pneumonia."
The statement said: "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.
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"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."
The Monster made his UFC debut in June 1997, eight months after he made his MMA debut at a one-night tournament in Brazil in October 1996, where he won all three of his fights including one against future UFC and PRIDE FC competitor, Dan Bobish.
His crowning achievement was when he defeated Pete Williams for the UFC Heavyweight Championship in November 1999. He fought in the Japanese promotion PRIDE FC from 2002 for four years, where he still had some memorable moments including the knockout of kickboxer-turned-MMA fighter Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic, and suplexing Fedor Emelianenko.
This is truly sad news for the MMA world and will be greatly missed by many fans.