The late Kevin Randleman, a former UFC heavyweight champion and NCAA Division I national wrestling champion, will be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame later this year, the company announced Saturday.
Randleman, who died from heart complications in 2016 at age 44, will be inducted into the Pioneer Wing of the UFC Hall of Fame. He will join the likes of Chuck Liddell, Tito Ortiz, Randy Couture and Royce Gracie, among others. Mark Coleman, Randleman's close friend and mentor, is also a member of the Pioneer Wing.
A two-time national wrestling champion at Ohio State, Randleman fought professionally from 1996 to 2011. He won the UFC's heavyweight championship in 1999 by defeating Pete Williams at UFC 23: Ultimate Japan 2. He defended the title once before losing it to Couture in 2000.
Randleman (17-16), with his larger-than-life personality and trademark bleach-blonde hair, was known as a showman and an imposing physical specimen. Perhaps his best-known win came in 2004, when he knocked out feared striker Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic in the first round of a bout in the Japanese fight promotion Pride Fighting Championships.