Kevin Randleman To Join UFC Hall Of Fame Class Of 2020
The UFC announced over the weekend another edition to the UFC Hall of Fame Class of 2020 in former heavweight champion Kevin Randleman.
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 2020 UFC Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, presented by Toyo Tires, will take place later this year and will be streamed live on UFC FIGHT PASS.
“Kevin Randleman was one of the first real athletes in the early days of UFC,” UFC President Dana White said. “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 was a pioneer of the sport and it’s an honor to induct him into the UFC Hall of Fame Class of 2020.”
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.
— UFC (@ufc) May 17, 2020
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.
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Rutten would spend the majority this event fighting and throwing punches from his back, which resulted in Bas landing numerous strikes to Randleman’s head. At the end of regulation, with no winner declared, both athletes advanced to fight for three additional three-minute overtime rounds.
Randleman seemed to control two of three rounds, but following 21 minutes of action, Rutten was declared the winner via split decision. This split decision loss is still considered one of the most controversial decisions in UFC history.
Rutten would later vacate the title, giving Randleman a chance to compete for the vacant UFC heavyweight title against Pete Williams at UFC 23.
Perfect Blend Of Power And Speed
During his MMA career, Randleman was known for his power and speed, as he recorded nine knockout victories and nine first round stoppages. A world-class wrestler at all levels, he also secured the second-most takedowns (21) during the time frame in which he competed in UFC from 1999-2002 (Tito Ortiz, 29).
Throughout his MMA career, Randleman consistently competed against the best of the best, including 13 athletes that collectively captured 13 UFC, six King of Pancrase and three PRIDE FC championships, along with individual titles in Strikeforce and World Extreme Cagefighting, respectively.
Randleman also used his combat sports notoriety to compete as a professional wrestler with domestic and international promotions from 2002-07.
A native of Sandusky, Ohio, Randleman began wrestling in high school, compiling a record of 122-11 and capturing the Ohio state HS championship in 1989. He went on to wrestle at Ohio State University, where he was a three-time Big Ten and two-time NCAA Division I Champion in 1992-93.
He passed away at the age of 44 in 2016 due to complications from pneumonia and is survived by his wife and four children.