Despite recent reports, UFC veteran Kim "Kimo" Leopoldo is not dead
Tue, 2009-07-21 17:35 — chernobyl kid
Despite a rash of reports stating that veteran MMA fighter Kim "Kimo" Leopoldo, the 41-year-old fighter is alive and well.
Reports of the supposed death, which were posted on numerous MMA blogs and even mainstream media outlets such as the Orange Country Register and the New York Daily News on Tuesday, were sparked by a forum posting on The Underground, a popular MMA-themed message board on mixedmartialarts.com.
A member of the popular forum stated that Leopoldo had died on Monday due to "complications from a heart attack" while in Costa Rica. The claims, of course, proved unfounded.
The fighter's publicist, Bob Trieger, stated that Leopoldo is, in fact, alive. His confirmation comes shortly after Leopoldo's attorney, Victor E. Hobbs, told Yahoo! Sports' Kevin Iole the same.
No other details were immediately available.
Leopoldo made his MMA debut 15 years ago at UFC 3 and became the first man to truly challenge the seemingly invincible Royce Gracie. Gracie, in fact, was so fatigued from the fight that he was unable to continue in the night's tournament and to be helped out of the ring by family members.
Leopoldo won six of his next seven bouts fighting primarily for the UFC and PRIDE. He last fought in October 2006, when he suffered a first-round TKO loss to Wes Sims at an Extreme Wars show. Leopoldo, who sometimes carried a large Christian cross to the cage, concluded his career with a 10-7-1 mark, which included a 2-5 record in the UFC.
During his career, Leopoldo failed drug tests due to performance-enhancing drugs and banned stimulants. Earlier this year, he launched an unsuccessful bid to become the executive officer of the California State Athletic Commission to "end corruption" in the regulatory body. However, he was arrested just a few weeks later on possession of marijuana (though charges for possession of methamphetamine and possession of stolen property were later dropped) and was sentenced earlier this week to community service and a drug rehabilitation program.
Tagged: On The Mat