Report: Leandro Souza died of stroke, forces cancellation of Shooto Brazil 43

Shooto Brasil

The mixed martial arts (MMA) community lost a fighter on Thursday when Leandro Souza passed out minutes after exiting a sauna prior to the weigh-ins for Shooto Brazil 43 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The first reports name the cause of death as a stroke.

Earlier today, it was reported that Brazilian flyweight Leandro Souza passed out exiting a sauna on Thursday (Sept. 26, 2013) prior to stepping onto the scale for the Shooto 43 weigh ins in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

He was taken to a nearby hospital where he was eventually pronounced dead.

The Nova Uniao team member was scheduled to fight Gabriel Brasil later today (Sept. 27) and was attempting to cut two additional pounds prior to the official weight check. According to Souza's teammate, Andre Santos, Souza was called in on short notice and needed to lose 33 pounds in one week.

He still had 11 pounds to lose in the last 24 hours.

UOL in Brazil has learned from Joao Ismar, the chief of police in Botafogo, that the exams conducted by Instituto Medico Legal showed that "Feijao" suffered a stroke, but they will continue investigating to check if the drastic weight cut is what caused the 26-year-old fighter’s death.

MMA has the translation:

"It's too early to say that he died because of the effort he was doing to lose weight. We need to check his medical records because it's not normal to see a young kid like him suffering a stroke. IML is working to get more information so we can get in a conclusion, then we will start an investigation."

Shooto President Andre Pederneiras took to Facebook to announce the decision to cancel today's Shooto 43 event.

No make-up date was announced.

"Feijao" will be buried on Saturday morning and was 5-5 in his young mixed martial arts (MMA) career. One can only wonder if this draws attention to the art of cutting weight and whether going forward, this risky process is more closely regulated.

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