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MMA fighter Leandro 'Feijao' Souza dies moments before weighing in for a Shooto bout in Brazil

Kevin Iole

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Leandro "Feijao" Souza (Courtesy Shoot Brasil)

Leandro "Feijao" Souza, 26, a Brazilian mixed martial arts fighter who was scheduled to compete on Friday in a flyweight bout at Shooto 43 in Brazil, died Thursday just prior to the weigh-in for the event, a prominent Brazilian trainer confirmed via Facebook.

Teammate Andre Santos told Uol Esportes that Souza needed to cut around two pounds to make the 126-pound weight. According to Santos, Souza was in a sauna when he passed out.

Friday, the Institute of Forensic Medicine determined Souza suffered a stroke, though it was noted that it's "premature" to attribute the stroke to Souza trying to cut weight.

Andre Pederneiras, the coach of the powerful Brazilian-based Nova Uniao team that numbers UFC champions Jose Aldo and Renan Barao among its members, confirmed Souza's death.

"We are sad to report the death of Leandro Caetano de Souza," Pederneiras wrote on his Facebook page. "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."

MMA Fighting, which first reported the death, quoted Santos as saying the death was related to Souza's weight cut.

"We don't have much information yet," Santos told, he believes the weight cut had to be involved.

Souza, who carried a 5-5 record, was scheduled to fight Gabriel Brasil. Friday morning, Shooto cancelled the event.

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