One of the biggest troll jobs in recent memory was pulled off today when UFC veteran Kimo Leopoldo was pronounced dead from complications associated with a heart attack.
As most troll jobs do, the rumor began on a well-known Internet mixed martial arts forum. With the power of the Internet launching this deliberate misinformation, it was not long before such popular news sources as The New York Daily News and TMZ.com were reporting the story as fact.
“I knew I wasn’t dead. So when I was reading this I wondered if I was jinxed or something was going to happen,” Leopoldo told Yahoo! Sports in a phone interview on Tuesday evening.
Leopoldo said this was one of the strangest things ever to happen to him, “It was really strange. I was surprised at how nasty it was. I guess it wasn’t a good thing. … I’ve always had strange things written about me but nothing this bizarre. I couldn’t believe it when I searched for my name and I wrote in ‘Kimo Leopoldo’ and it added the word ‘death.’ ”
Kimo, who holds a professional MMA record of 10-7-1, had his last fight in 2006 when he lost via first round TKO to TUF 10 heavyweight Wes Sims.
Kimo went on to say he hopes all this publicity will get people to visit his website www.fightengine.com and maybe even lead to a new fight deal.
After a drug-related arrest back in February, Leopoldo was sentenced by a California judge earlier this week to 10 days of community service and participation in a drug diversion program.
If the story of Kimo’s death had been real, it truly would have been a sad day for the sport of MMA. Kimo holds a special place in the history of mixed martial arts. Here are a few of his accomplishments:
-At UFC 3, he became the first person to ever make Royce Gracie tired
-Only person to ever defeat Bam Bam Bigelow in an MMA fight (of course Bigelow only had one fight but that’s beside the point)
-Went to a draw with Dan Severn at PRIDE 1
-Only person ever to make his walk to the cage in the UFC carrying a giant wooden cross on his back
-One of the very few people in the world to have an MMA career lasting over ten years (18 fights) and not one single fight made it out of round one