Steve Cofield

Kimo convo: Even after meth bust, he wants to clean up the game

Steve Cofield
Cagewriter

One of the pioneers of mixed martial arts shouldn't be a punch line for bloggers and fans but that's where Kimo Leopoldo finds himself after getting pinched by Tustin police for impersonating an officer and having meth in his possession. According to the Long Beach Press-Telegram, he was charged with felony methamphetamine possession and felony possession of police property:

The German-born Ultimate Fighting Championship contender was also wearing thong sandals and playing with a yo-yo, police said. "The cotton jumpsuit was designed for officers to wear in the event of major disaster response, such as a massive earthquake," said Sgt. Dina Zapalski, an LBPD spokeswoman.

Kimo and his camp say it was all a set-up and the truth will come out when he gets day in court in early April.

TMZ posted the 2009 mugshot of Kimo and compared it to a 2007 mugshot, suggesting that there was a drastic difference in the way he looked. It more than a strong hint that Kimo looked like a meth addict. Cage Writer caught up Kimo and outside of a bum leg, he looked healthy. Kimo said he's fine, the run-in with the police is just another chapter in his life:

"It was actually a blessing to me," Kimo told Cage Writer. "Everything in my life that happened seemed to be negative at the time. (Things have) turned around and have become above and beyond positive."

Watch Cage Writer with Kimo at last week's Fight Expo:

The Kimo camp says the fighter was actually wearing a police department mechanic's uniform much like one you can pick-up at a Halloween costume store. But it does beg the question, unless it was laundry day why would Kimo be wearing this sort of jumpsuit?

"I was wearing the outfit for a “Policing the Industry” type of photo shoot scheduled for later in the evening, said Kimo. "With all the corruption in the (California State Athletic Commission) and (former director)Armando (Garcia) getting caught with $350,000 in cash in his locker and our movement to get Armando out of office, the photo shoot was designed to be an 'Uncle Sam Wants You' type of poster. I really love the industry and see it as a way to help people get out of a life of crime and give unfortunate people, who know nothing more than fighting, an opportunity to make a legitimate career for themselves and stay away from jail."

Kimo sent out a press release when Garcia resigned from the CSAC stating that he should be a candidate for the Executive Director position:

"My goal was to get into the CSAC and really make a difference for all the fighters, promoters, and managers that have been taken advantage of over the years. MMA started in California and I want to bring it back. I have a lot of really great philosophies behind trying to help out the industry. For example, I was looking forward to assisting and supporting amateur MMA promotions in California, and figuring out budgets to help fighters get retirement plans, etc. I don’t want to see the new breed of fighters fall into the gimmick and line of false promises by promoters that do not honor their word."

The 41-year-old Kimo says he's looking for one more MMA fight then he wants to work with an athletic commission. Kimo lost his first MMA fight against Royce Gracie back at UFC 3 in 1994.

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