When the rumors that UFC and PRIDE veteran Kimo Leopoldo passed away began growing, so did the suspicions. “How did it actually happen?”; “Who is the douche claiming it?”; “Wasn’t he already dead?”; “Will he still be on The Ultimate Fighter?”. Well, it looks like the major sources who ‘confirmed’ the story don’t have as much egg on their face as originally thought (but it still isn’t good since eggs should actually be on plates). You see, word from TMZ is that the passing of Kimo was confirmed by HIS OWN CAMP:
TMZ founder Harvey Levin told FiveKnuckles.com exclusively that they had received the tip that Leopoldo had died from the fighter’s management…While Levin would not reveal the name of the person who contacted TMZ, he did explicitly say that the confirmation came though Leopoldo’s camp.
Arggh! After all I went through in my original post to point out the breaking rumors were exactly that, his management tried to do anything to get their name out. Heck, even if Kimo really did die I bet they’d have paraded his body around like “Weekend at Bernie’s” if it meant they could hold a press conference. Not only that, they’re looking to litigate against TMZ for reporting on the story:
However, Leopoldo’s lawyer, Stephen Doniger, is still in the process of filing a lawsuit against TMZ. Initially, Doniger and Leopoldo wanted to settle the matter without going to court, but TMZ has not responded to Doniger’s attempts at communicating.
Kimo hasn’t fought in almost three years, so I don’t see how he’s gonna be able to pay any lawyers. (And it’s not like you can go down to Venice Beach and see him bagging groceries or anything.) I bet the case will be thrown out immediately if it ever makes it to court. Kimo’s lawyers will be thrown out by the judge faster than cousin Vinny and his management won’t care one bit because somewhere, on some site there will be a headline that says “Kimo’s case dismissed”.
The whole story really stinks of the worst kind of self-promotion. To be fair, almost none of us know Kimo personally so we can’t talk foul about him or throw any blame on his shoulders – but his dirty, sick managers are in play. Next time you hear about Ken Pavia screwing over fighters, just be glad he isn’t doing stuff like saying Jake O’Brien is dead to stir up interest.
But then again, TMZ said Kimo was dead, so maybe we shouldn’t believe them claiming this either.