UFC 3 competitor Emanuel Yarbrough dies at 51
Emanuel Yarbrough, best known as a competitor during UFC 3 in 1994, has passed away at the age of 51.
"The UFC sends its sincerest condolences to the family and friends of Emanuel Yarbrough," UFC officials wrote in a statement released on Tuesday following the fighter’s passing Monday.
At 6-8 and at one point weighing more than 800 pounds, Yarbrough was once touted as the world’s largest living athlete by the Guinness Book of World Records. Before he was a fighter, Yarbrough wrestled and played football before doing sumo for several years as well.
During his lone fight inside the Octagon, Yarbrough was listed as weighing north of 600 pounds when he took on Keith Hackney at the third UFC event promoted.
Yarbrough got knocked down early in the fight with Hackney before getting back to his feet and literally pushing the much smaller competitor through the Octagon door before the two men were restarted by referee John McCarthy.
The massive Sumo wrestler-turned-mixed-martial artist was knocked down again later in the first round, and Hackney continued the assault until the fight was stopped at 1:59 in the first round.
Yarbrough would never fight in the UFC again although he did go 1-1 in his other two MMA bouts, including a bout in Shooto, where he won by smothering his opponent with his huge frame.
Yarbrough eventually ended up acting in commercials and film and even scored a small role in the popular HBO prison series "Oz".
Known as "The Gentle Giant" to friends and family, Yarbrough struggled for most of his life with obesity and eventually spoke to groups and children while trying to prevent others from going down the same path he traveled while fighting weight issues.