Brazilian Fighter Leandro Souza Dies Prior to Shooto 43 Weigh-ins, Event Cancelled

September 27, 2013
18 Comments

Leandro Feijao SouzaThe Shooto 43 event slated for Friday in Brasilia, Brazil, has been cancelled following the death of one of the fighters slated to participate.

Shooto Brazil president and Nova Unaio head trainer Andre Pederneiras announced the cancellation a few hours after he revealed that Nova Unaio fighter Leandro “Feijao” Souza, 26, passed away prior to weigh-ins on Thursday.

Pederneiras, as of yet, has not released details of Souza’s death, other than to say it took place in the Botafogo neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro.

Botafogo chief of police, John Ismar, in a statement to Brazilian news organization UOL, said that Souza died of a stroke, but the cause of the stroke was still unconfirmed.

“It is premature to attribute the death to the effort he would have done to lose weight,” said Ismar, before adding that a stroke is uncommon in at such a young age.

Souza’s teammate, Andre Santos, told MMAFighting.com on Thursday that he believed Souza’s death was related to his weight-cutting efforts.

Santos said that Souza was asked to fight on short notice and had to lose 33 pounds in one week to meet the required weight. He indicated that Souza still had 11 pounds to lose in the 24 hours prior to weigh-ins, and was trying to shed the final two pounds when he passed out in the sauna and was rushed to the emergency room.

The Brazilian MMA Athletic Commission on Friday confirmed Souza’s death and the event’s cancellation to MMAWeekly.com.

“(Thursday) Leandro ‘Feijão’ Souza passed away prior to the weigh-in of Shooto 43. The event, which was going to be held today in Rio has been cancelled by André Pederneiras, its owner,” said commission spokesperson Caio Lemos.

CABMMA officials plan to make an official statement once they have more information regarding the circumstances surrounding Souza’s death, but clarified that the Commission had no jurisdiction over the Shooto 43 event or its fighters.

CABMMA has a strict set of rules and safety regulations in place in accordance with the International MMA Federation. In Brazil, promotions have the option of following the rules and regulations set forth by CABMMA. If they do not, then CABMMA does not regulate that promotion’s events.

Shooto Brazil has its own protocols and medical guidelines, and is therefore not a CABMMA regulated event.

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  • fsunoles10

    not gonna lie i was thinking the guy got shot or something being in brazil and all but rip to the guy.

  • UnadulteratedTruth717

    There should be guidelines implemented to make sure that something like this doesn’t happen again. Maybe getting the fighters present weight beforehand to see if the fight weight can be safely achieve before even signing him to the contract. There may be people who can, or even have lost 33 pounds off of a 180-190 lb. frame and fought, but to do so in one week can’t be good for your health. And to me there is something inherently wrong with dangling a paycheck to a fighter who might be in need of money, or one just looking to seize an opportunity. These promoters need to be more responsible than that.

  • Ping

    Another example of why weight cutting should be banned. They should have the weigh in a day before like normal for the camera’s, and then another a few hours before the fight. If the fighter is over by a certain amount they should face penalties, and possible disqualification for a future shot at the title. Why should anyone be fighting at the 170 pound weight class, but walk in at around 200 pounds?

    • Mark McDowall

      Guys like Jones and Griffin cut down from 240-250lbs….Rumble Johnson cut down from 210+ sometimes to make 170…some peoples bodies can just handle. Some cant…its all about how its done.

      • Mma butt

        It’s not just how it’s done it’s how big you are. Someone cutting 30 pounds from 295 would do it a lot easier than someone cutting 20 from 155.

        • Mark McDowall

          I totally agree…thats why BMI should play a part in it. If your still at a safe BMI after the cut then go for it.

      • Ping

        That’s 100% completely false. Forest griffin talks about in his book that when he fights he’s walking in at 220. Jones a few weeks before his fight was 215. When they are between fights they are probably heavier but Forest, and Jones aren’t that big when they get in the cage.

        • Mark McDowall

          Maybe you should reread what I wrote. I didn’t say a few weeks before a fight…or when walking in to the cage. At the start of camp they are that big…

  • Gary Fredericks

    Firstly, RIP Leandro. Godspeed to your family.

    Weight cutting is BULL $HIT! Compete at what you weigh! Hell, 33 lbs in one week? Did this guy want to look all Zombie-like and lose your mind like Joe Riggs or like you are from another planet like Tim Sylvia or like a grown man fighting third graders ala Anthony Johnson when he fought welterweight? Stupid…..just stupid! Young man dead and for what exactly?

    They should have the scale at the cage door/ring ropes as the fighters enter the cage.

    • Chicago

      wrestles have to weight in around an hour or two before the match and I have witnessed some pretty crazy weight cuts.

      • Gary Fredericks

        This is true, but the heavy cutters usually lose due to fatigue and dehydration symptoms. The wrestling community has lost many a grapplers from weight cutting as well.

        I’m just saying they should compete at the weight they really are is all. That, and it is hard to fully feel sorry for the athelete (not his family) for such an act of stupidity. Another example of natural selection I guess.

        • Chicago

          Aww. you just made that comment to a wrestler turned mma fighter. cutting from 195 to 170. all water, stomach content, and stool, no fat loss. I’m all ready 9% body fat.

          • Gary Fredericks

            I don’t care who you are or what you do. It doesn’t change the fact that dropping 25 ibs of water, vomit, urine, feces…ect any healthier or smarter. Use them diuretics/Ex-Lax, sauna, and starve yourself. I bet you’d do much better at MW. Check back in later in life and let us know how your body is holding out.

          • Chicago

            Of coarse cutting weight is bad. you know what else is? fighting in MMA, boxing, serving in the military, cheerleading (look up the statists for injury) being a cop or fireman, living in a major city, crossing the street. isn’t it always sad when anyone loses their life; no matter how it is done? the above occupations & scenarios knew that their were risks involved with their activity. why so heartless? your entitled to your opinion but why no sadness for a lost life?

          • Gary Fredericks

            Where did I say it wasn’t sad? I said it was hard to feel completely sad about somebody doing something obviously dangerous in a stupid manner. It’s horrifying when people inadvertently kill themselves out of stupidity as it is when it is an actual accident. Also, I am fully aware of dangers of the things you listed such as military, boxing/kickboxing. wrestling…ect. I have done most of those things you mentioned. Unfortunately, I am talking about cutting an unrealistic amount of weight. I am not talking about how many dumb asses have done it before and lived or if you did it or if the military, LEO, astronauts, pole vaulting….ect are dangerous too. I am solely reffering to the fact that a young man died cutting an enormous amount of weight in a very short time to the point that he shut his body down so far that he DIED. That is just plain IGNORANT. Those that have done that in the same time frame and lived are ignorant. Think it won’t catch up with them? Ask Anthony Johnson why he is fighting at a heavier more natural weight these days. He had a brush with death and his body fought back at him i a horrifying way…one that I sincerely hope you don’t have to encounter in your weight cuts. Given the proper time and nutritional attention, it can be done as Mark McDowall has mentioned in this thread, but to cut so much in such a short amount of time is plain dangerous, and by default…..STUPID!

  • robc

    Ask Daniel Cormier what weight cutting got him.. Kidney damage. How many guys in the UFC are on TRT replacement due to extreme weight cuts over the years. What happens to them when they are not fighting any more and cannot afford the very expensive treatments???

  • Aaron

    My condolences to the family of the deceased. It would be interesting for fighters to weigh in on the day of the event. That would still be fair for everyone and also be safe for the fighters.

  • Mark McDowall

    I think that weight cutting…done the right way…ah la Mike Dolce can be a perfectly safe thing when done right. This was obviously not done properly.

    I think safe weight cuts should be based on a fighters BMI. Look at Corey HIll who was 6’4 and fighting at LW…and then he takes a couple solid leg kicks and his leg breaks in to several pieces…he was bones and some skin…on the flip side look at a guy like DC…he’s maybe 6′ fighting HW…and we he tried to cut weight for the olympics his body shut down and caused damage to his liver.

    Is it ever going to be an exact science…of course not…hell I graduated high school after lifting weights every day and at 6’1 I weighed close to 250, 12% body fat…and yet according to BMI I was morbidly obese because I was “short for my weight”