Emanuel Yarbrough

Emanuel Yarbrough, a former MMA fighter who competed in UFC 3, died this week. He was 51 years old.

The amateur sumo wrestler/MMA fighter passed away on Monday (Dec. 21) in Richmond, Virginia, though the cause of death was not revealed.

“The UFC sends its sincerest condolences to the family and friends of Emanuel Yarbrough,” the UFC said in a statement.

“Emanuel’s passion was to travel,” a statement from his manager to the UFC read. “Even though it was not an easy task for him, it never stopped him from following his dreams, and bringing smiles to the faces of all he would meet. He was to be the subject of a new reality show, and would have continued to bring smiles to all those who had the opportunity to be blessed by his infectious, compassionate, loving presence. He will be missed by his millions of fans around the world, friends and family. Emanuel constantly demonstrated the need to help the obese, particularly children. And he traveled the world to bring awareness to obesity.”

Yarbrough was named the world’s largest living athlete by the Guinness Book of World Records, standing 6-foot-8 and weighing in at over 800 pounds.

He fought at UFC 3 in 1994, losing via TKO to Keith Hackney. He fought two more times as an MMA fighter in the 1990s.