Yesterday @MauroRanallo and myself finished our podcast, we ate something and decided to go online.
Mauro freaks out saying "There is a rumor Kevin Randleman passed away", I started texting Elizabeth (Kevin's wife) and Phil Baroni and Phil got back to me saying that it really happened, that he heard from Wes Sims.
For some reason you don't want to believe this, I mean, this is a guy who survived everything, like his head got split open and a car, a TRUCK! landed on him which he pushed simply off?
He had a staph infection that was too crazy to look at, I mean, he had a hole in his chest, like a circle 2 inch wide and more then an inch deep, but nothing, he's like Superman, just keeps smiling, laughing and telling funny stories, and there are a LOT of stories like this.
But then I got a text back from his wife, and she confirmed it.......wow, this is real
The whole internet blew up because everybody loves him, he's the guy that you meet and instantly like, that's it, no way you do NOT like him. Always happy, always making everybody laugh
My wife Karin and I were laying in bed this morning talking about the great time we had at his and Elizabeth's wedding with our kids.
My wife got emotional and said: "You guys were so much alike, he was always happy and the relationship between Elizabeth and Kevin aways makes me think of our relationship". Wow, hearing this is hard, what a loss
The day before we fought each other I am in the hotel where all the fighters stay for the UFC 20 event (1999). I am by myself, the door opens and there is Kevin, also by himself. I get in with him, the door closes and there is this awkward moment, we both look at each other and smile, I tell Kevin: "Well, good luck tomorrow". He says: "Thank you, you too".
I told this story to somebody yesterday and after that conversation I thought more about it and realized that Kevin also told me: "If you don't kick me, I won't take you down", so I said "OK, that's a deal".
But I am thinking, "I can't trust this, I just met this guy", haha
In the fight, MY memory is that he slaps his thigh, "telling me", come on, kick me there. But in my mind I am thinking: "OK, now he wants me to give him a low kick? Lets give him a front kick to the face, I mean, he's expecting a low kick, so he might shoot in and I will nail him in the head with that front kick"!
But he moved backwards, and I remember the look on his face, and later I heard in a story that he thought: "Oh, so is this how it's going down? You said you wouldn't kick!".
Anyway, the fight is over, and the next day I am walking through the lobby and there I see Kevin. He comes to me, shakes my hand and says while he took his beanie off: "Look man, you gave me a whole bunch of stitches on the top of my head", and showed all the spots where my elbows had cut him.
I said: "Are you kidding, nobody sees that, do you see my face? Everybody sees that, because it's, well, right in your face".
We laughed, shook hands and BOOM, a new friendship was born.
We had seen each other over the years but our friendship really started growing when he came to PrideFC, the company I was commentating for. Pride 22, 2002.
Of course I had to interview him before his fights and that's when we really found out about ourselves and started hanging out. He was always with his mentor and very close friend Mark Coleman, who also is a blast to hang out with
We had such great times over there in Japan, crazy stories, funny stories, and that sticks out, FUNNY stories, it was always uplifting!
That's who Kevin was, great friend to his friends, great husband and great father to his family.
As I menioned, yesterday we shot our podcast and found out after we were done what had happened.
So we dedicated that podcast to Kevin but Mauro and I are going to do a special about Kevin next week on our Podcast.
Just to take a trip down to memory lane with him, trust me, you will hear some crazy stories, but all fun stories that will make you laugh, just the way we want to remember this great man, that when you think of him, you can't help but smile
This picture always makes me think about the awesome time we were at their wedding, we were so blessed to be a part of it, my wife and I and daughters are in love with the Randleman's and till this day talked about that wedding. We danced till they send us out, I remember my daughter doing cartwheels over the dance floor all night long. Even the "monstah" was impressed!
The "cartwheel daughter" told us yesterday that she remembers everything from that wedding, that she had such a great time and she was only 5 years old that time (2009).
After the night was over we all slept at the same hotel and in the morning all our families were laying at the pool relaxing when suddenly our competitive juices started flowing and we had a full on water volley game going on. Hilarious, same amount of kids and adults on each team and just go!
Life can be short
Every time something like this happens you think back, like the last times I was in Vegas, many times he and Elizabeth pop up in my mind, "Shall I see if I can visit them?".
But, I come there to work, most of the time ON the day of my job I arrive, go straight into meetings and shoot the show later that day. Next day, I want to go back home because I like to spend that Sunday with my family.
But I am really going to change this now, I really want to plan an extra day if I am somewhere close to a good friend, because events like this make you realize it can be over TODAY and you never get that chance again.
I hope that everybody who reads this, will do the same with the people that they love, don't postpone, do it now!
He's up there now with a few of my other funny friends, Shawn Tompkins who left us way to early as well is showing him around up there, introducing him to Ramon Dekkers.
Evan Tanner, Ryan Gracie are also up there and of course a bunch more.
Next week we will tell an insane story that happened when Mauro, Kevin, Ryan Gracie and myself were out in Japan together and something happened.
As I already mentioned, everything with Kevin was fun, so it will make you laugh for sure.
Oh, my nick name El Guapo? Kevin started that!
Godspeed Kevin, RIP, much love!
Counter for straight punches, just drilling, most important to stay just outside the reach of your opponent, try to keep the space between your opponent the same.
We heard its confirmed, Kevin Randleman passed away. This is the worst news. Condolences to Elizabeth and their kids, RIP my friend
Made a friend
Happy birthday to my beautiful wife Karin, look at this pic, we just arrived in the States, this was 1997!
@ONEFCMMA @luissantosmma I LOVE that, very nicely done!