Leandro Souza Dies Tragically During Shooto 43 Weigh-Ins


Sad news coming out of Brazil recently, as we learn that Nova Uniao product Leandro ‘Feijao’ Souza has passed away just ahead of his planned Shooto 43 weigh-in. The Brazilian Souza was set to fight at Shooto 43 in a Flyweight contest, but apparently collapsed and was hospitalised soon after.

The 26 year old was taken to an emergency unit, where his family was notified. Feiajo’s teammate Andre Santos rushed to the hospital, but it was already too late by the time he arrived:

“We don’t have much information yet,” Santos told MMAFighting.com, “but we do know that is related to his weight cut. He’s my student but he also trains at Nova Uniao for about a year. 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.”

Shooto’s president Andre Pedernaires also released a statement via his Facebook page:

“We are sad to report the death of Leandro Caetano de Souza 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.”

Shooto 43 is now officially cancelled following the tragic death of Souza, and an inquest is likely to produce the official cause of death in the near future. If he was suffering from severe hydration, the causes of death could range from swelling of the brain to liver failure to hypovolemic shock.

 It doesn’t feel good to write this, but a lesson needs to be learned from this tragic incident; cutting large amounts of weight should not be allowed in this sport. It’s only a matter of time before this happens again and something needs to be done.

Whether it’s adding more weight classes, or defining that a fighter needs to be 10lbs. within the weight before accepting the fight; it’s insane that fighters are damaging themselves this much.

An advantage in a fight is never worth paying your life for, and the Brazilian MMA community is mourning a loss today.


  • Tragic and of course we don't know the cause yet but it is time to get rid of the medically unwise weight cuts. Weigh in at ring side going into the fight. Forfeit half your purse if you are over. There is not need for a weight cut to see who is the better fighter. I'm not interested in a fight determined in whole or in part by who is a better weight cutter.

    • + 100 Michael!

    • the reason i dont see this being any good is because fighters still need to do weight cuts BEFORE the fight, and feel like complete S!hit while being weak dehydrated and hungry, 3 rounds like that you will either pass out, die, or it will be the worst fights ever where two guys cant throw punches or kicks by the 2nd round

  • wtf

  • The way ins should be on fight night.
    That way we don't get to see a middle weight fighting a light heavy and so on.
    Than fighters can't take part in this rehydration game anymore!
    The moto is go as low as you can go and off course size does matter!
    It s a real unhealty thing in this sport, fights are not fair and fighters are taking a big risk with even draining brain fluids!

    Fights would be more equal in size, and the true best man at that weight class would win, not the best rehydrater/fighter!

  • Correct me if I am wrong, but doesn't weigh ins the day prior to a fight and weight cutting defeat the purpose of " weight classes "

    The athletic commissions are a joke, they never tackle REAL issues like reffing, judging , corruption or fighter safety – Weight cutting is a prime example – It's dangerous for person making the cut and can provide an unfair advantage and a DANGEROUS UNFAIR ADVANTAGE if one person is much larger than the other in a full contact fight, yet this is NEVER addressed.

    GSP VS PENN 2 – GSP walked in cage at 192 lbs and PENN weighed in day prior at only 166…Did not cut weight if ANY and walked into cage no larger than 170. Look no further than Antonio Silva vs Fedor – Silva was rumored to be 285 fight night!!

  • Cutting weight has always been an issue I DONT agree with. Like Michael said above, come in fight day at the right weight….done. This crap will kill more also, if it continues. Look at DC saying he suffered liver damage from cutting weight.

  • Introducing more weight classes will only give guys a temptation to cut even more weight. If there was a 165 pound division introduced a wave of 170 pounders would probably try to make that also.

    Sitting in a sauna for hours wrapped in foil is the most backward practice imaginable.While you have weight classes and weighs in the day before fighters will push the envelope

  • Perhaps they could implement rules as to how much weight you can lose over a certain peroid of time.
    Cutting no more than 10 percent of your bodyweight in the final week of the fight.
    Just chucking ideas out there.

    • Not a bad idea either might I say. I'd rather see them weigh in before the fight.

  • Adding more weight classes is ridiculous, the ufc will end up like boxing…… fifty different weight classes and a hundred different belts.

  • Theres other sports that have rules that prevent crazy weight cuts. Ofsaa the ontario wrestling high school fed. Has double weight in's.

    Kickboxing in ontario depending on the rules, allows coaches to have the opposing fighter weighted in before the fight. The fighter can not exceed 5 lbs of weight in.

    There are things that can be done. I've ranted on this comment boards for ages. Somebody send this to Dana next time he forces Aldo who's the same size of GSP to stay at FW. Who already had kidney stones and his performance has suffered a lot more as he has aged and the cut has gotten much harder.

  • I think we should all wait for the autopsy and medical professionals to examine this incident. I heard a conflicting report pointing to a stroke that may or may not be related to the weight cut. Regardless of the what the official cause of death is feel terrible for this man , his family, friends, and team members.

  • Does anyone know what weight he walks around at? damn

  • BJ Penn, Daniel Cormier, Machida, Hector Lombard are all guys jumping on the weight cuttrain.