Mixed martial artist Leandro “Feijao” Souza died on Thursday just hours before a weigh-in for the “Shooto Brazil 43” fight card, apparently due to complications from “cutting weight.”
Souza, 26, was scheduled to fight Gabriel Brasil in a flyweight bout at Friday’s event in Rio De Janeiro, MMAFighting.com reports. The Brazilian fighter was reportedly two pounds over the fight’s weight limit, and had been cutting weight in the days preceding his death.
"We are sad to report the death of Leandro Caetano de Souza," Shooto president Andre Pederneiras wrote on Facebook. "The athlete has passed away in Botafogo’s UPA. We don’t know the reasons why yet. We would like to express our condolences to all friends and family."
Souza, a flyweight, reportedly passed out in front of Shooto officials just moments before his official weigh-in for Shooto Brazil 43, MMAFighting.com reports. While officials have yet to ascertain the exact cause of Souza’s death, his attempts at rapid weight loss are believed to have played a major role.
"We don’t have much information yet, but we do know that it is related to his weight cut," Andre Santos, Souza’s MMA teammate, told MMAFighting.com. “He’s my student, but he also trains at Nova Uniao for about a year [sic]. I wasn’t with him during this process because I have a fight scheduled in Russia, so he spent the night at Nova Uniao’s gym. His sister called me saying that he had passed out, so I went to the hospital, but he was already dead when I got there."
On Friday morning, Pederneiras announced on his Facebook page that Shooto Brazil 43 was cancelled at out of respect for Souza’s death. He held a 1-1 record as a professional fighter.