UFC 3 Fighter Emanuel Yarbrough, World’s Largest Athlete, Dead at 51

Emanuel Yarbrough
Emanuel Yarbrough. Paul Drinkwater/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

UFC 3 fighter Emanuel Yarbrough died on Monday, December 21. He was 51.

“The UFC sends its sincerest condolences to the family and friends of Emanuel Yarbrough,” officials from the organization said in a statement to Fox Sports on Tuesday. He passed away in Richmond, Virginia, though the cause has not been revealed.

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His manager also released a statement to UFC.com. “Emanuel’s passion was to travel,” the statement read. “Even though it was not an easy task for him, it never stopped him from following his dreams, and bringing smiles to the faces of all he would meet. He was to be the subject of a new reality show, and would have continued to bring smiles to all those who had the opportunity to be blessed by his infectious, compassionate, loving presence. He will be missed by his millions of fans around the world, friends and family. Emanuel constantly demonstrated the need to help the obese, particularly children. And he traveled the world to bring awareness to obesity.”

Yarbrough was named by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s largest living athlete at 6-foot-8, and over 800 pounds. Prior to joining the UFC, he dabbled in other sports and played football and ventured into sumo wrestling.

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Yarbrough joined UFC in its early days, losing in the third ever Ultimate Fighting Championship match. During the fight, Yarbrough weighed over 600 pounds at the time when he was defeated by his opponent, Keith Hackney.

Yarbrough’s mom has set up a GoFundMe page asking fans to help the family pay for funeral costs. 

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