Kevin Randleman Interview
PRIDE: I heard that you had a lung surgery.
KEVIN RANDLEMAN: Yes, I had to have an emergency surgery on my left lung in December of last year due to a fungal infection that had been growing on my lung for a few years, according to the doctors.
PRIDE: What happened exactly?
KEVIN: I was not aware of it, although I did have a pain in my side often; I always just disregarded it for a training pain. It came from a spore that I had breathed in either in Brazil or possibly Las Vegas. It is common is desert climates and in layman's terms it is called Valley Fever (Coccidiomycosis-medical term). After my last fight in Amsterdam I needed to undergo shoulder surgery because I dislocated my bicep tendon. I ended up with a pneumonia, which ironically may have saved my life. I had built up fluid on my left lung which they extracted, but I was still striking fevers of 104-105 degrees. Me being stubborn I refused to go to the hospital. After a month of the fevers my girl insisted that I go to the emergency room where I saw an Infectious disease doctor and he figured out that I had Valley Fever. By this point my left lung had completely collapsed and the doctor's told me there was a chance that they would have to take my lung. Because of my occupation, I pleaded with the doctors to try and save it and after extensive surgery they removed (4) pieces of fungus that looked like thick slices of turkey covered in blood (check out the pictures on my website) from my lung. Looking back I realize that I almost lost my life because I didn't want to stop training and take time to listen to what my body was trying to tell me. I was in the hospital for over a month with chest tubes coming out of my side and it was an incredibly painful and scary time for me. God needed to wake me up and made me take a step back and recognize some things.
PRIDE: Was this a life-or-death situation?
Kevin: Yes it was. The surgeon told my girl after my surgery that if I would have waited another few weeks and I would have went to sleep one night and never woke up.
PRIDE: Did you think about retirement?
Kevin: Yes I did think about retirement, but only for about (60) seconds. It passed quickly because I have such a passion for what I do and feel so lucky that I get to train everyday for you, the fans. A very wise man, Jerry Airola, told me recently that if you can find something you love to do for a living that you will never work a day in your life. I feel so blessed to say that I love what I do and look forward to doing it for a long time.
PRIDE: What kind of rehab did you go through?
Kevin: At first it was very slow and I was so anxious to get back. I had a breathing machine that I had to use through out the day to help my lung expand. I had to start off with walking, than worked up to being able to use a cardio machine to eventually being able to run again.
PRIDE: How long did you wait until you were able to train again?
Kevin: Hard to say exactly because there was a bad domino affect that happened. My shoulder surgery led to the lung surgery. It was frustrating for me and I did more than I was suppose to, and ended up having to have surgery on my knee from pushing to hard. Then my shoulder became infected again and they had to go in and clean it out. Thank God for my girl and her having the wisdom and patience to stay by my side through this entire episode and keep me grounded because after the knee surgery and third shoulder surgery, I took my time and became stronger and stronger with each week that passed. All said and done, I have undergone (9) surgeries in the past (12) months. .
PRIDE: How did it feel when you first resumed training after your battle with your lung infection?
Kevin: When I could finally train again it was the best present I could ever receive. It was like finding a lost love and I do love my job as well as my life and feel incredibly blessed.
PRIDE: What made you stay strong during your recovery?
Kevin: My girl Elizabeth was at my bedside the entire time and she never left me. It was her strength and positive outlook on life helped me get through it all. During difficult times you realize who your friends really are and I thank all my friends and family that came to the hospital to visit me and all the love and support that came my way. I would also like to thank Mr. Sakakibara and the entire PRIDE organization for all the support they gave me while I was down. They are by far, the greatest organization a man could ever want to work for. It inspired me to fight back for all those that fought for me and stood by me. Always remember, tough times don't last, tough people do.
PRIDE: What made you motivated to fight again after the long battle?
Kevin: I only know one thing and that is if you work hard you will be rewarded. I will never accept anything but being a winner and I will not stop until I get to the top again. I have been blessed enough to have tasted success often in my life. I am so inspired right now because I need to taste the sweet sensation of victory again.
PRIDE: What is your impression of Shogun?
Kevin: Shogun's name says it all, he is a warrior. There is not a bad thing I can say about him. I respect him as a fighter and look forward to getting a chance to put on a great battle for all the fans out there.
PRIDE: How do you feel fighting after a long period of break since Shockwave 2004?
Kevin: I feel like I have been reborn a stronger, smarter and tougher fighter. There was so many things wrong with me over the past few years and I never took the time to let my body heal. I now, for the first time in a long time, feel like I am 100% and can't get wait to get back in that ring on October 21st.
PRIDE: What does it feel like fighting on the American soil since 2002?
Kevin: As an American it is a great feeling to be back in the presence of my fans, family and old friends. Instead of them having to watch me on TV they now get the chance to see me live here in fabulous Las Vegas. I have so many people coming to see me that my girl has purchased almost (100) tickets for the fight already.
PRIDE: Who do you think will win between Coleman VS. Fedor?
Kevin: I believe that preparation will speak loud and clear on October 21st. Fedor is one of my favorite fighters in the world and he is undefeated because he is possibly the greatest MMA fighter ever. My respect for Fedor is so high. Having been lucky enough to train with Mark all these years, if there is anyone out there that can beat Fedor, I believe it is Mark.
PRIDE: Do you think that fighters from other country would have disadvantage fighting in the US?
Kevin: I don't feel geography is a disadvantage for anyone. The only disadvantage for a fighter is not being prepared. If you are truly a great fighter, than the only person that can beat you is yourself.
PRIDE: Do you think PRIDE will succeed in the US? What do you think is necessary for PRIDE to succeed in the US?
Kevin: PRIDE has already succeeded in US because we are here now, and there is no getting rid of us, especially once the American fans get to see the type of show that we put on EVERYTIME!!! PRIDE's success is inevitable because of the strength of the organization backed by the stable incredible fighters they have. I have received hundreds of emails from fans over the past month and so many of them are so excited that PRIDE is finally here and because of the fans, we are here to stay.
PRIDE: Message for the American fans
Kevin: Thanks for all the support and it is so good to be home. The Monster is back and is here to stay. Much Love and respect to you all that have supported me over the years, through the good and the bad…
I have always liked Randleman and after reading this interview I am now rooting for him to win against Shogun. He has been through so much over his years and has kept his head up while training and fighting some of the worlds greatest mixed martial artist's. Much respect for that guy.