Tragedy has struck mixed martial arts (MMA) in Brazil.
Nova Uniao fighter Leandro Souza, who was booked to compete in tonight's (Sept. 27, 2013) Shooto 43 event in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, died just prior to weighing in for his flyweight bout against Gabriel Brasil.
The 26-year-old "Feijao" was suffering from complications with his weigh cut, according to teammate Andre Santos (via MMA Fighting):
"We don't have much information yet. but we do know that is related to his weight cut. He's my student but he also trains at Nova Uniao for about a year. I wasn't with him during this process because I have a fight scheduled in Russia, so he spent the night at Nova Uniao's gym. His sister called me saying that he had passed out so I went to the hospital, but he was already dead when I got there."
Shooto 43 is promoted by André Pederneiras, head coach of Nova Uniao and trainer of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) stars Jose Aldo, Renan Barao and Hacran Dias, among others.
Pederneiras made the announcement on Thursday night through his official Facebook page:
"We are sad to report the death of Leandro Caetano de Souza. The athlete has passed away in Botafogo's UPA. We don't know the reasons why yet. We would like to express our condolences to all friends and family."
It is always a horrifying thing when someone dies that young.
But, taking into consideration stories from former Olympian Daniel Cormier, with his kidney problems, Ross Pearson admitting he could barely stand while trying to make featherweight and now this. Is it time for the sport to try and regulate weight cutting in some form?
To date, no UFC fighter has died of suffered serious injury from competing, or from making weight.