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Fight Archives: The iconic PRIDE suplex that broke an entire arena’s silence

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Relive one of the most notable highlight reels in MMA history.

Kevin Randleman, Fedor, Randleplex

Where were you when you found out about Kevin Randleman’s death?

I was sitting alone at the Pearson Airport in Toronto during a quick stopover to New York City, after a 15-hour flight from Manila. Reading the news on Twitter felt like a punch in the gut.

Any uninformed doubter can look at “The Monster’s” resume and be easily unimpressed with his string of losses, especially during his PRIDE run. But behind those defeats were performances that helped establish his legendary status.

One of those that stands out took place during his fight against the great Fedor Emelianenko at PRIDE Critical Countdown on June 20, 2004. Fresh off a first-round knockout victory over Mirko Cro Cop two months prior, Randleman went after the biggest fish in the pond.

The size difference was glaring, but that didn’t faze the 33-year-old Team Hammer House fighter. Randleman immediately locked up with Fedor and went for the takedown. The Sambo master fought his way back up to his feet, but Randleman kept himself connected and got to back control.

What happened next broke the silence of the entire Saitama Super Arena.

Seeing Randleman slam Emelianenko’s head and neck into the canvas with relative ease showed how much of a unique specimen he was. But of course, Fedor being Fedor quickly reversed positions, rained down a few punches from side control, got hold of Randleman’s left arm, and stole the fight via a kimura.

(The fight starts at the 16:52 mark, but feel free to watch the entire video for nostalgia’s sake).

This July, Randleman will be posthumously inducted into the UFC Hall-of-Fame, a much-deserved accolade for one of the true icons of the sport.