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Diuretics suspected in death of Brazilian fighter Leandro Souza

The aunt of deceased fighter Leandro Souza says he was taking Lasix in the hours before his death by stroke while cutting weight for Shooto Brazil 43.

Guilherme Cruz

We posted previously on Leandro "Feijao" Souza, the 26-year-old Brazilian fighter who died from a stroke hours before weighing in for his Shooto Brazil 43 bout. Now MMA Fighting's Guilherme Cruz has more:

...the fighter's aunt, Elma Caetano, revealed he used Lasix, a diuretic pill, to help him make weight for the flyweight bout against Gabriel Brasil (1-1).

"I didn't know he was taking that," Caetano told Extra on Saturday. "Two kids that train with him told me that (he was taking Lasix)."

Several sources told that Souza took three diuretic pills on Wednesday and four on Thursday, and he was two pounds over the limit when he passed out inside a sauna. He got the fight on short notice and had to lose 33 pounds in one week.

Bloody Elbow's Eugene Robinson was quick to suspect that Lasix had played a role in Souza's death. This news seems to confirm that suspicion.

Unfortunately Andre Pederneiras, head of Shooto Brazil and leader of Nova Uniao, Souza's training camp, seems more interested in denial than in getting to the bottom of the situation:

"That could have happened to anyone," Pederneiras said. "It unfortunately happened on a day that all the fighters were losing weight. But that has nothing to do with (him cutting weight). We will wait for more exams, but (the doctors) already said that he suffered a stroke."

Sadly Pederneiras' head-in-the-sand attitude is typical of people involved in MMA when it comes to issues of fighter safety.

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