Despite several early morning reports that 'confirmed' the death of MMA's Kimo Leopoldo, MMAmania.com is happy to pass along the news that the former UFC competitor is alive and well -- and likely a bit confused over all the recent attention.
The story was picked up earlier this morning and confirmed by TMZ before subsequently being reported by the Orange Country Register and the New York Daily News, leading us right here at MMAmania.com to incorrectly and prematurely pass along the news.
Fortunately after pursuing the Leopoldo camp throughout the day, we managed to reach his publicist, Bob Trieger, who gave us the good news that his client was in fact, alive and well.
The 41-year-old MMA 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.
Leopoldo is expected to make a statement by tomorrow.