Kimo Leopoldo (born 4 January 1968), or simply Kimo, is a retired American mixed martial artist and actor. He made his MMA debut at UFC 3 in 1994 losing to Royce Gracie by submission. A professional from 1994 until 2011, he also competed in the PRIDE Fighting Championships, Cage Rage, and the World Fighting Alliance.
|Born||January 4, 1968|
Munich, West Germany
Los Angeles, California (current)
|Height||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)|
|Weight||250 lb (110 kg; 18 st)|
|Style||Taekwondo, BJJ, Wrestling, Kickboxing, Pankration|
|Fighting out of||Santa Ana, California|
Gold's Gym Santa Ana (current)
|Rank||4th degree black belt in Taekwondo|
Black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu
|Mixed martial arts record|
|Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog|
Leopoldo was born in Munich to an American father of Irish and Polynesian descent and a German mother of Jewish descent. Four months after he was born his family moved to Hawaii. Leopoldo was a natural athlete growing up, playing football, wrestling, and he also had an interest in surfing. Leopoldo was a dominant wrestler at Waianae High School and played on the team that won the Hawaii High School Athletic Association Championship. Leopoldo was also a very talented middle linebacker in football, and attended the University of Washington on a partial athletic scholarship, but he was unprepared for college, and returned to Hawaii shortly after.
In Huntington Beach, California, he sought to renew his career in football. Going under the name "Kim Leopold" he quickly became an NJCAA All-American and gained interest from many Division I colleges. However, he tore both of his ACLs, and his success only lasted until the middle of his sophomore year. Depressed and with seemingly no future, he met Joe Son and turned to mixed martial arts after studying films of fights including UFC 1, among other fights featuring Royce Gracie, who Leopoldo would later make his debut against.
Mixed martial arts careerEdit
At UFC 3, billed as a taekwondo fighter, Kimo fought the reigning, defending UFC 1 and UFC 2 champion Royce Gracie in the first round. Alhough Gracie tried to take him down at all costs, Kimo stayed firmly on his feet, and even managed to capture his back in a failed trip. Royce reversed it and mounted him, but only briefly, as Kimo flipped Gracie over and landed multiple headbutts through his guard. The Brazilian fighter then grabbed Kimo's ponytail in an attempt to get the advantage, but it didn't stop Kimo from taking his back again standing. Finally, Royce pulled him down and locked an armbar, making Leopoldo submit. Even though Kimo lost, Royce was left so hurt he couldn't fight two other bouts he had that night, and had to forfeit his match against Harold Howard. Kimo and his cornermen Joe Son featured a controversial moment that very night, when they jumped on the cage after Royce's forfeiting and started celebrating among the audience's chants.
After three straight wins in Japan, including a dominant win over UFC 2 finalist Pat Smith, Kimo returned at UFC 8 and fought reigning UFC champion Ken Shamrock in a title match for the UFC Superfight Championship, but lost early in the fight via submission due to a kneebar.
He then traveled to Japan and fought the former 3 time UFC champion Dan Severn in the inaugural Pride Fighting Championships. A controversial contest, it took place primarily standing with both fighters nullifying the other's ability to strike. At the end of the contest Severn attempted to take Kimo down, however was unable because Kimo held onto the ropes. At the 29th minute Severn landed a take down, however it was a matter of too little too late and the contest was deemed a draw. Upon the final bell, commentator Stephen 'The Fight Professor' Quadros said 'the best thing about this fight is Dan Severn's post fight look', and in response to the Japanese crowd uncharacteristically booing, he said 'they're booing because they're relieved it's over'.
Kimo then returned for UFC 16 at UFC: Battle in the Bayou and fought top Japanese fighter Tsuyoshi Kohsaka. Kimo began the contest aggressive, securing a strong takedown and controlling Kohsaka for the first six and a half minutes. Kimo then began to fatigue and Kohsaka took advantage, restoring the fight back to its feet, before landing a stiff right jab to the face of Kimo. Clearly stunned by the punch, momentum immediately swung in Kohsaka's favour. Although Kimo held on for the remainder of the bout, Kohsaka won via unanimous decision, out scoring Kimo in striking, grappling, and octagon control.
After a four-year break from mixed martial arts, Kimo won a warm up fight against Tim Lajcik in the WFA in 2002. He then again returned to the UFC at UFC 43, where he quickly defeated David "Tank" Abbott by arm triangle choke. Kimo went on to fight in the main event of UFC 48, where he fought Ken Shamrock in a rematch. Kimo was knocked out in the first round from knees to the head. After the fight Kimo, tested positive for the steroid Stanozolol, also known as Winstrol, among other drugs. He was suspended for six months and fined $5,000 by the Nevada State Athletic Commission.
Kimo was to fight Bas Rutten at WFA: King of the Streets on July 22, 2006. However, he was forced off the card by the California State Athletic Commission, after testing positive for Stanozolol once again.
Leopoldo has worked since 1996 as an actor in independent productions. He starred in the direct to video production R.I.O.T.: The Movie and the films The Process, The Dog Problem, In the Closet, Bullet and Avengers Grimm.
In February 2009 Leopoldo was arrested in Tustin, California for possession of a controlled substance. In the police report Leopoldo was standing by his car, wearing sandals, playing with a yo-yo, and donning a Long Beach Police Department jumpsuit that can only be worn by the motor pool mechanics.
Various media outlets reported that Leopoldo had died from complications from a heart attack at age 41. Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports reported on his Twitter that Leopoldo's publicist refuted reports that Leopoldo was in Costa Rica and instead was seen alive in Orange County the night before. At a July 21, 2009 press conference Leopoldo denied anyone close to him created the rumor, he also expressed his desire to return to fight one last time.
Kimo is well known for his Christian beliefs: he sports many religious tattoos, and entered the arena at UFC 3 carrying a large cross on his back.
Mixed martial arts recordEdit
|Professional record breakdown|
|18 matches||10 wins||7 losses|
|Loss||10–7–1||Wes Sims||TKO (punches)||Extreme Wars 5: Battlegrounds||October 6, 2006||1||3:21||Honolulu, Hawaii, United States|
|Loss||10–6–1||Dave Legeno||Submission (guillotine choke)||Cage Rage 18||September 30, 2006||1||3:21||London, England|
|Loss||10–5–1||Ikuhisa Minowa||Submission (achilles lock)||Pride Bushido 8||July 17, 2005||1||3:11||Nagoya, Japan|
|Win||10–4–1||Marcus Royster||Submission (forearm choke)||Rumble on the Rock 7||May 7, 2005||1||4:18||Honolulu, Hawaii, United States|
|Loss||9–4–1||Ken Shamrock||KO (knee)||UFC 48||June 19, 2004||1||1:26||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||9–3–1||Tank Abbott||Submission (arm-triangle choke)||UFC 43||June 6, 2003||1||1:59||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Win||8–3–1||Tim Lajcik||TKO (broken toe)||WFA 2: Level 2||July 5, 2002||1||1:55||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States|
|Loss||7–3–1||Tsuyoshi Kohsaka||Decision (unanimous)||UFC 16||March 13, 1998||1||15:00||Kenner, Louisiana, United States|
|Draw||7–2–1||Dan Severn||Draw||PRIDE 1||October 11, 1997||1||30:00||Tokyo, Japan|
|Win||7–2||Brian Johnston||Submission (forearm choke)||Ultimate Explosion||April 16, 1997||1||1:43||Honolulu, Hawaii, United States|
|Win||6–2||Paul Varelans||TKO (corner stoppage)||Ultimate Ultimate 1996||December 7, 1996||1||9:08||Birmingham, Alabama, United States|
|Win||5–2||Scott Bigelow||Submission (rear-naked choke)||U-Japan||November 17, 1996||1||2:15||Japan|
|Win||4–2||Kazushi Sakuraba||Submission (arm-triangle choke)||Shoot Boxing - S-Cup 1996||July 14, 1996||1||4:20||Tokyo, Japan|
|Loss||3–2||Ken Shamrock||Submission (ankle lock)||UFC 8||February 16, 1996||1||4:24||San Juan, Puerto Rico||For UFC Superfight Championship|
|Win||3–1||Patrick Smith||Submission (punches)||United Full Contact Federation 1||September 8, 1995||1||2:59||Sapporo, Japan|
|Win||2–1||Fred Floyd||Submission (rear-naked choke)||United Full Contact Federation 1||September 8, 1995||1||0:47||Sapporo, Japan|
|Win||1–1||Patrick Smith||Submission (punches)||K-1 Legend||December 10, 1994||1||3:00||Nagoya, Japan|
|Loss||0–1||Royce Gracie||Submission (armlock)||UFC 3||September 9, 1994||1||4:40||Charlotte, North Carolina, United States|
|3 Fights 0 wins 3 Losses 0 Draw|
|2004-2-15||Loss||Hiromi Amada||K-1 Burning 2004||Okinawa, Japan||KO (left hook)||2||2:06|
|2003-8-15||Loss||Bob Sapp||K-1 WORLD GP 2003 IN LAS VEGAS||Las Vegas, Nevada, United States||KO (punch)||2||1:11|
|1995-3-3||Loss||Masaaki Satake||K-1 Grand Prix '95 Opening Battle||Tokyo, Japan||TKO (3 knockdowns, left middle kick)||2||2:27|
|Fails to qualify for K-1 World Grand Prix 1995.|
Legend: Win Loss Draw/No contest Notes
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-08-25. Retrieved 2013-04-12.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Scott Newman (2005-06-11). "MMA Review: #52: UFC 3: The American Dream". The Oratory. Retrieved 2016-09-17.
- Pride Fighting Championships (1997-10-11). "Kimo Leopoldo Vs Dan Severn Pride 1". The Ultimate Fighting Championship FIGHT PASS. Archived from the original on 2016-11-21. Retrieved 2016-11-20.
- The Ultimate Fighting Championship (1998-03-13). "Tsuyoshi Kohsaka Vs Kimo Leopoldo UFC 16". The Ultimate Fighting Championship FIGHT PASS. Archived from the original on 2016-11-21. Retrieved 2016-11-20.
- Recent Articles at Sherdog.com[permanent dead link]
- Fairy Tale Heroines Assemble for The Asylum's Avengers Grimm
- Jon Wiener (2009-07-21). "Former UFC star Kim "Kimo" Leopoldo reportedly dead at 41". Daily News. New York. Retrieved 2009-07-21.
- John Joe O'Regan. "Kimo Leopoldo is not dead". Fighters Only Magazine. Archived from the original on 2009-07-24. Retrieved 2009-07-21.
- "Ex-UFC Fighter: My 'Death' Greatly Exaggerated". Fox News. 2009-07-21.
- The religion of Kimo Leopoldo, Ultimate Fighting champion