Kevin Randleman

The protege to the first ever UFC Heavyweight Champion Mark "The Hammmer" Coleman. His wins/loss record may not be the best but when you mention decorated and feared/fearless fighters, you have to mention the likes of Kevin Randleman. A former UFC Heavyweight Champion though he appeared smaller than most of his competition would steamroll opponents earlier in his career. When Kevin Randleman burst on to the scene you knew he was going to be something special. His unique physic and he sported beach blond hair when he came to fight. He even inspired the likes of Melvin Guillard a a lightweight fighter with similar attributes. Kevin would defeat the likes of Maurice Smith, Murilo Rua, and Mirko Cro Cop. Kevin Randleman would start his career in Brazil and win his first five fights before losing by submission in the first round to Carlos Barreto. He would later be knocked out in the first round by Tom Erikson and would mark the first time he would be knocked out in his career. Later he would make his UFC debut by defeating Maurice Smith via Unanimous Decision. At UFC 20 where he competed against former King of Pancrase Champion Bas Rutten for the vacant UFC Heavyweight Championship. This would be the most controversial decision called in Mixed Martial Arts history since Randleman had Rutten on the ground the whole fight and using his ground and pound. Rutten would get his hand raised but later the "Unified" ruleset was introduced. Randleman would go on to defeat Pete Williams and become UFC Heavyweight Champion and even defended it against Brazilian Jiu-Jitsi Black Belt Pedro Rizzo in a successful title defense. Randleman would go on to lose the belt to Five time UFC Champion Randy Couture by TKO in the third round. He would later fight up and coming star Chuck Liddell in his Light Heavyweight debut in a losing effort by Knockout in the first round. He would fight once more in the UFC against Renato Sobral in a winning effort but that would be his last time fighting for the UFC. Kevin was a great fighter but he stuck to his old fighting style and he wasn't able to grow as a better fighter. Randleman would make some noise in Pride winning his first three fights in Pride before losing to Rampage Jackson via first round knockout. He would make Heavyweight return and have one of the most upsetting fights in MMA history as he knocked out former K-1 Champion Mirko Cro Cop in the very first round. They would later get a rematch that Mirko would win in the later point of his career. The most monumental move he ever did in his career was his highlight reel slam over then Undefeated Pride Champion Fedor Emelianenko. Till this day I still replay the suplex he did to Fedor in Pride. Kevin Randleman is a former UFC Heavyweight Champion and Vale Tudo tournament champion and would leave with an 17-16 record throughout his career. Though his record may not be the best he would go pass hurdles in and outside of his career. He was in a car accident that ripped the left side of his scalp and have his steaming hot car engine on top of his lap gushing blood. Also, Kevin had staph infection that would eat through his right arm pit. Kevin continued to fight and win over the audience whether he came out on top or not. Kevin had done so much in his career it's crazy and UFC probably wouldn't have a rule system if it wasn't for him. Kevin Randleman would pass away on February 11, 2016 at age 44 due to complications with pneumonia. His legacy will forever be remembered and may The Monster rest up. I always wondered what Kevin Randleman could have done with a team like AKA, Greg Jackson's, or even ATT. He was loyal to Hammer House and that was respected but it also let to his MMA downfall. As the sport grew Kevin really didn't and new type of styles and fighters would burst onto the scene. Kevin would stick to his traditional style and that would be his downfall every fight because fighters knew what to look for. His past injuries would effect him as well but I can't help but think what if.

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