Kevin Randleman To Be Inducted Into The UFC Hall Of Fame
One of the top heavyweights in all of MMA will be recognized by the UFC for his contributions to the sport. It was announced during UFC on ESPN 8 that Kevin Randleman will be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame.
Randleman (17-16) will be inducted into the “Pioneer Wing”, with the event taking place sometime in the summer.
— UFC (@ufc) May 17, 2020
Born in 1971, Randleman was an NCAA Division I Champion in 1992 and 1993 for The Ohio State University. He also was a champion of the Big Ten three different times. With the help of coach and friend Mark Coleman, Randleman made his MMA debut in 1996, winning three fights in one night for Universal Vale Tudo Fighting. He then competed in the Brazil Open before joining the UFC in 1999 at UFC 19, beating Maurice Smith.
Randleman became the fifth UFC Heavyweight Champion when he beat Pete Williams for the title. He left the organization in 2002 after a 4-3 record. Competing in PRIDE, he famously beat Mirko Cro Cop in 2004 during the PRIDE Heavyweight Grand Prix. He is also famous for putting Fedor Emelianenko on his head. Randleman then traded wins and losses between PRIDE and Strikeforce. His career ended on a four-fight losing streak.
Before he passed away in 2016 at the age of 44 due to pneumonia, Randleman had a career in pro wrestling, appearing for All Japan Pro Wrestling, Pro Wrestling Zero1, and Hustle.
“Kevin Randleman was one of the first real athletes in the early days of UFC,” UFC President Dana White said. “He was a two-time NCAA Division I National Champion and All-American wrestler at The Ohio State University. He was the fifth heavyweight champion in UFC history and one of the first athletes to successfully compete at both heavyweight and light heavyweight. He was a pioneer of the sport and it’s an honor to induct him into the UFC Hall of Fame Class of 2020.”
Randleman now joins the likes of Royce Gracie, Ken Shamrock, Dan Severn, Coleman, Randy Couture, Don Frye, and Tito Ortiz in the “Pioneer Wing” of the UFC Hall of Fame.