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UFC 3 fighter Emanuel Yarbrough, named by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s largest living athlete, died on Monday, Dec. 21 in Richmond, Va. He was 51.

Yarbrough, at 6-foot-8, weighed over 800 pounds.

“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. His cause of death has not been revealed.

Prior to joining the UFC, Yarbrough dabbled in other sports, played football and ventured into sumo wrestling. He joined UFC in its early days, losing in the sport’s third Ultimate Fighting Championship match. He weighed over 600 pounds at the time 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.

His manager also released a statement to “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.”


(Photo: Yarbrough Family, via

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