18 May 2020 02:33
UFC announced that former UFC heavyweight champion Kevin Randleman has been named to the UFC Hall of Fame class for 2020 as a Pioneer. The induction ceremony will take place later this year. Randleman joined New Japan Pro-Wrestling in 2002 when they brought several mixed martial artists and kickboxers to take part in wrestling matches. "Kevin Randleman was one of the first real athletes in the early days of UFC," UFC President Dana White said. Randleman will enter the UFC Hall of Fame as the 17th member of the Pioneer Era wing.
The Pioneers Era category includes athletes who turned professional before November 17, 2000 (when the unified rules of mixed martial arts were adopted), are a minimum age of 35, or have been retired for one year or more. A veteran of 33 professional fights during his 15-year career, Randleman compiled a record of 17-16 (4-3, UFC), including wins over UFC Hall of Famer Maurice Smith, UFC®23: ULTIMATE JAPAN 2 middleweight tournament champion Kenichi Yamamoto and 2006 PRIDE FC world open-weight grand prix champion Mirko Cro Cop. Randleman passed away during a job interview trip on February 11, 2016 from a heart attack and pneumonia. RELATED: Kevin Randleman to Be Enshrined in UFC Hall of Fame 'Pioneer Wing' Kevin Randleman, a former UFC heavyweight title holder and two-time NCAA Division I national wrestling champion, will be posthumously inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame later this year. The UFC announced Saturday that Randleman will be inducted into the Pioneer Wing as part of the 2020 Hall of Fame class. Randleman joins three-time UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre, who will be inducted into the Modern Wing.
In the news release announcing St-Pierre's induction on May 9, the UFC stated that it "will take place later this year." During last night's UFC on ESPN 8 broadcast, the UFC officially announced that the late former UFC heavyweight champion Kevin Randleman was named for the UFC Hall of Fame Class of 2020 in the Pioneer Wing. The UFC will be streaming the 2020 UFC Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony later this year on UFC Fight Pass. In a statement from the official press release, UFC President Dana White stated, "Kevin Randleman was one of the first real athletes in the early days of UFC. 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 sadly passed away at the age of 44 in 2016 due to complications from pneumonia. UFC will be announcing more inductees for the Class of 2020 in the coming weeks. Former Ohio State and three-time NCAA wrestling All-American Kevin Randleman will be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame. The announcement came Saturday night during the UFC's Fight Night 176. Randleman wrestled for Ohio State from 1991-1993. He won the Big Ten title all three years, with two NCAA championships in both 1992 and 1993, but fell just shy of winning his freshman season in the NCAA final. After being a three-time All-American, he was ruled ineligible his senior season because of academic issues. After his collegiate career, Randleman joined mixed martial arts and competed in not only the UFC, but PRIDE, WVR, and Strikeforce. It was with the UFC that Randleman was able to take hold right when things were really taking off in the world of MMA. He eventually became the UFC Heavyweight Champion in 1999, successfully defending his title once, before moving down to Light Heavyweight and also winning that title in his final bout with the UFC. Randleman will be going into the Pioneer wing of the UFC Hall of Fame. He was inducted into the Ohio State Hall of Fame in 2004, and sadly passed away in 2016. Contact/Follow us @BuckeyesWire on Twitter, and like our page on Facebook to follow ongoing coverage of Ohio State news, notes and opinion. Get in on the conversation about Ohio State athletics by joining the Buckeyes Wire Forum. Kevin Randleman Joins the UFC Hall of Fame The UFC has been rolling out its next crop of the elite to join their Hall of Fame. Recently, it was announced that GSP would be inducted in the UFC Hall of Fame's "Modern Wing." And, rightfully so for all of his successes and contributions to the sport. Now, the promotion announced that Kevin Randleman will join the hall as well in the "Pioneer Wing" Just like with GSP, the promotion didn't announce the official date that Randleman will be elected into the Hall of Fame. Heading into the "Pioneer Wing" Randleman will join an elite group of just 16 other members. Kevin Randleman's UFC career was only 7 fights long. However, in that time period, he was able to successfully win and defend the heavyweight title. Furthermore, outside of the UFC, Randleman was able to secure wins over the biggest names in the sport. Names like Mirko Cro Crop, Renato Sobral, Pete Williams, and Pedro Rizzo. During the press release for the reveal of the induction, UFC President Dana White spoke highly in regards to Kevin and his rightful place in UFC history. "Kevin Randleman was one of the first real athletes in the early days of UFC. He was a two-time NCAA Division I National Champion and All-American wrestler at The Ohio State University," said Dana. "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." In 2016, Kevin Randleman tragically died at the young age of 44 due to complications while facing pneumonia. Now, Randleman will be immortalized forever for his contributions to the foundation stages of mixed martial arts.