UPDATE: Despite an early morning report from TMZ that was followed up by the New York Daily News, MMAmania.com is happy to pass along the good news that Kimo Leopoldo is NOT dead according to his attorney. We will continue to update this story as more information becomes available.
Mixed martial arts journeyman Kimo Leopoldo reportedly died last night from complications caused by a heart attack, according to several published reports. He was 41 years young.
The UFC veteran last competed inside the Octagon at UFC 48 in 2004, losing to Ken Shamrock via first round knockout (knee). He fared no better in the last performance of his career, which was a technical knockout loss to Wes Sims at Extreme Wars 5: "Battlegrounds" in 2006.
Kimo (10-7-1) is perhaps best known for wearing down Royce Gracie in a losing effort at UFC 3, thus allowing Nebraska police officer Steve Jennum his 15 minutes of fame.
Throughout his 12-year career, Kimo struggled with substance abuse. He tested positive for steroids several times, including after his last fight with Shamrock and prior to a scheduled bout against Bas Rutten at the World Fighting Alliance that never materialized.
Kimo -- who made an unsuccessful bid to become the executive director of the California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) -- was also recently held by police for drug possession in Tustin, Calif., after authorities spotted the ex-fighter wearing a Long Beach Police Department jumpsuit complete with patches and a cloth badge.
It’s unclear at this time if drugs played any role in his untimely death or if it was due to natural causes. R.I.P. Kimo: Jan. 4, 1968 to July 20, 2009.