It was widely reported yesterday that UFC trailblazer Kimo Leopoldo had died of a heart attack. Today Kimo has confirmed that he is in fact alive… and he would know.
Kimo told Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports that he was sleeping when the rumors started spreading across the internet and woke up to the ominous and confusing news Tuesday afternoon. “I knew I wasn’t dead, so when I was reading this I wondered if I was jinxed or something was going to happen.”
To try and rectify the false reports Kimo went to the Orange County Sherriff’s office and recorded a statement as indisputable proof that he was alive and well... or a zombie. Kimo expressed his long-standing displeasure with the media’s portrayal of him throughout his entire career, citing several points where he believes he was misrepresented in the press.
This is being called an internet hoax that got out of control and is shaping up as a bit of dark cloud over a media core that jumped on the bandwagon of a shaky report. Several of the sources that ran the story even acknowledged that it was mostly baseless, but published it anyway rather than applying due diligence.
As the print media continues to slip further and further into obscurity and online blogs take over, but still struggle to monetize their efforts, this could be a case where fear of being scooped was enough to drive editors down the dangerous path. Or maybe it’s just plain old irresponsibility. Either way, it sucks, but Kimo is still alive so that’s good news for him.
In a related story, Jeff Goldblum also still alive. The Taco Bell Chihuahua, however, not so lucky.