WATCH! #FBF in memory of former UFC champion Kevin Randleman

Tragic news struck the MMA community as people were shocked to hear that former UFC heavyweight champion Kevin Randleman passed away. The 44-year-old MMA pioneer went to the hospital with pneumonia and died of heart failure, according to Bleacher Report’s Jeremy Botter.

Randleman first entered the world of professional mixed martial arts back in 1996, winning with his signature powerful punches in the first round. He would become a UFC champion at UFC 23, when he beat Pete Williams by unanimous decision, taking the vacant heavyweight title. He would later go on to fight in Japan in the PRIDE organization where some of his most memorable fights took place.

“The Monster” ended with a professional record of 17-16 with his last fight taking place in 2011. Randleman had highlight fights with fellow MMA legends Randy Couture, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, Mirko “Crocop” Filipovic, Kazushi Sakuraba, Chuck Liddell, Quinton Jackson, and has arguably the most memorable slam in MMA history in his fight with Fedor Emelianenko.

Many from the MMA community reacted to the news of Randleman’s passing. UFC Hall of Fame legend Randy posted a heartfelt message regarding Randleman’s passing. The post was captioned:

“Kevin my friend , my sorrows swell and my heart sinks as the sun sets on our journey. I embrace the memories of our time together in laughter , in the heat of combat , and in tears as we stumbled through this world. I never dreamed that I would sit alone decades later in reflection at the adventures we shared. I see your swagger and smile , eyes twinkle with devious delight as you bounded high in intimidating preparation for battle always aware that all eyes were on you. Magnetic and powerful you seemed to glow with anticipation at what the struggle would bring. You showed me the reward of daily toil and the joys of reckless abandon. You lived a life unimagined by most with a philosophy of someone who seemed to know both sides of the coin. We battled vicious demons , some side by side, and reveled in the victories always willing to share the spoils with any one in need. This life you led laid open an example of happiness and freedom for countless souls including mine that we would never have had the strength or courage to face on our own. We went willingly with you and witnessed mercy, compassion, and the miracle that was you to all those you touched and wisdom through your falls. There is no explanation, excuse , or apology for your life because it requires none! The good was great , the bad was -well bad. It was 100% Kevin and I’am blessed to have shared it. See you on the other side. Randy Couture”

Kevin my friend , my sorrows swell and my heart sinks as the sun sets on our journey. I embrace the memories of our time together in laughter , in the heat of combat , and in tears as we stumbled through this world. I never dreamed that I would sit alone decades later in reflection at the adventures we shared. I see your swagger and smile , eyes twinkle with devious delight as you bounded high in intimidating preparation for battle always aware that all eyes were on you. Magnetic and powerful you seemed to glow with anticipation at what the struggle would bring. You showed me the reward of daily toil and the joys of reckless abandon. You lived a life unimagined by most with a philosophy of someone who seemed to know both sides of the coin. We battled vicious demons , some side by side, and reveled in the victories always willing to share the spoils with any one in need. This life you led laid open an example of happiness and freedom for countless souls including mine that we would never have had the strength or courage to face on our own. We went willingly with you and witnessed mercy, compassion, and the miracle that was you to all those you touched and wisdom through your falls. There is no explanation, excuse , or apology for your life because it requires none! The good was great , the bad was -well bad. It was 100% Kevin and I'am blessed to have shared it. See you on the other side. Randy Couture

A photo posted by Randy Couture (@xcnatch) on