MMANews.com's own Chris Howie recently caught up with former UFC Heavyweight champion and PRIDE fighter Kevin “The Monster” Randleman to discuss a number of topics. Below is a partial transcript of the interview. Check back here at MMANews.com later for part two of the interview.
KEVIN RANDLEMAN INTERVIEW (OCT. 30, 2007)
Chris Howie with MMANews.com: This is Chris Howie with MMANews.com and today I am speaking with former UFC Heavyweight champion and PRIDE fighter Kevin “The Monster” Randleman. Kevin, after seeing the picture you sent me today I think my first question has to be how are you feeling?
Kevin Randleman: I feel good. I feel really good actually. No complaints.
MMANews.com: I suppose it could be worse…
Kevin Randleman: I’m alive and I feel for the second time in my life that I am alive again.
MMANews.com: The picture that was sent, how old was that? When was it taken?
Kevin Randleman: That picture was taken last week.
MMANews.com: How is that infection healing?
Kevin Randleman: You know they can't close that up. They can’t sew it closed. So everyday my girl or my home nurse, they have to give me IV’s. I have a pick line in my arm. I’ve been going through this for two years now. It’s the same infection that keeps coming back every time I start training and start feeling good. I get up around 220 lbs. and start lifting and benching the same weights that I was lifting when I was feeling well and training good and fighting good. Then every time I seem to hit a brick wall that is known as a staph infection because somebody is nasty and dirty. I’m sorry but it is very simple people should not go to practice in the clothes they wore all day and you don’t go to practice wearing the same clothes you had on after working in the yard all day that are full of dirty parasites. It’s very frustrating for me because all I love to do is train and every time I’m starting to train good someone’s nasty ass infects me.
MMANews.com: That had to be one of the nastiest staphs I’ve ever…
Kevin Randleman: That was nasty wasn’t it?
MMANews.com: I think that is the worst I’ve ever seen.
Kevin Randleman: That is some crazy shit. The two holes are connected.
MMANews.com: They are connected?
Kevin Randleman: Yeah, those two holes are like hollow. There is top hole and the lower hole, and the doctor had to take all the shit out of there. So he ripped all that out and ripped like most of the side out. He pulled all the gook and puss and shit out of there. I had let that go for two months.
MMANews.com: So you let that go for two months?
Kevin Randleman: Yeah, you know, that seems so stupid but let me explain it to you and you’ll be like fuuuuuck.
Kevin Randleman: Like when I was growing up if I was the best running back on the team and I got hurt and that meant that there was a chance we could lose I wouldn’t stop. So I’ve always had this way of dealing with pain and dealing with life. The question I’d ask myself was “is this going to benefit a lot of people?”, and if the answer is yes than I would keep going. I had an infection in my shoulder nearly two years ago and when you have an infection that deep it doesn’t just go away. I’ve had a lot of trauma to my body over the last two years. Remember, I almost died three times now because of organ failure and such. Now I was training and such with Alex Schonauer and Shawn Tompkins and such at Xtreme Couture and I was taking a lot of knees and shots to the right side in the ribs. It was small and minor but it was in the same spot. It started as a small contusion but it started to grow and you know how bad it can be when a contusion or blister can start to grow?
Kevin Randleman: Well this spanned that down my whole right side underneath my armpit.
MMANews.com: So this injury was worse than what you have now?
MMANews.com exclusive pic of Randleman's staph infection …
Kevin Randleman: No, that one was the one that nearly killed me. What I have now is just fucking crazy. The doctors said that If I hadn’t have been so strong it would have killed me and I would have died. My liver and my kidneys and lungs were failing. It was almost like a euphoric feeling. I wasn’t in pain but I was just kind of out there. It was just different. A lot of this is confusing me now. Within two days I went from a healthy 220 lb. guy to a septic, infectious guy whose lungs and kidneys and shit were failing.
MMANews.com: So what have you changed?
Kevin Randleman: Well I’ve been changing a lot of shit. Since my DUI arrest I’ve changed a lot of things for the better. You know I always tell my girl that I’m a fighter and I like to handle things like a fighter and with my hands but I couldn’t do anything about this because it was handling me. Like if I break my finger I’m just going to splint that bitch up but this was different. I was in Japan when it got really bad and I called my girl and told her something was wrong. She knows that if I call and something is wrong than something is definitely wrong.
MMANews.com: So what can they do to even close that wound up?
Kevin Randleman: They can’t. Everyday my girl has to take four yards of gauze…
MMANews.com: Four yards?
Kevin Randleman: Yeah four yards and she has to stuff this hole and remember that the space between those two holes is gone. FUUUUUUCK. It sucks man.
MMANews.com: They can’t close it at all?
Kevin Randleman: No they can’t. I’ll be fine in a month. I was in a critical state when I was in the hospital. I was blowing up. My nuts got bigger and everything man. I was just gaining weight.
MMANews.com: People usually lose weight when they are in the hospital.
Kevin Randleman: Man I was so sick when I was in that fucker. Everything was failing so nothing could break anything down. I went from 210 lbs. to 262 lbs. in two days. I looked like a chubby fat kid.
MMANews.com: Today after the picture of the infection was posted, you received a lot of well wishes and people hoping for you to get better.
Kevin Randleman: Man I appreciated that but I’m not going nowhere. I’ll be back. You know that I’ve only taking off three years since I’ve been fighting and I’ve been fighting for ten years. I’m thirty-fuckin-six now. I’m still young. I’m still that same aggressive mother fucker that I’ve been. Now I fight for more than just me. I fight for you man, I fight for you because you are my friend. I fight for the fans. I look forward to fighting again because I’m going to give the people something they can relate to and someone they can love. Pardon my language but I’m going to be that nigga you love and that nigga you love to hate. When I step in that cage or ring one of two things are going to happen: either I’m going to get knocked out or he is going to get knocked the fuck out. Period. It should never go more than 20 minutes. Man I’m getting all hyped up.
MMANews.com: So are you saying that you fight for the fans?
Kevin Randleman: I’ve always fought for the fans. They want to know if I’ll be running out all blonde haired and they know that I’m going to be coming in to knock him the fuck out. Fuck him.
MMANews.com: With your condition now can you even get a fight?
Kevin Randleman: What I have right now everyone gets. It just so happens that I let it go too long. Had I gone to the doctor two weeks into it they could have checked my blood and said take the pills and I would have been fine. But because I could take the pain I went to Japan and was training and shit and then I got a fever and I felt like shit. My fever was 102 degrees for four days. I had one of those feelings and I knew something was wrong. I knew what it was but I was wondering how in the fuck did I get it.
MMANews.com: Is this something that you will always have problems with?
Kevin Randleman: It seems that any contusion that I get under my skin can act as a catalyst to the infection. It’s an occupational hazard but I have to take care of myself.
MMANews.com: What do you do to kill time?
Kevin Randleman: Man I’ve been sitting up in this fuckin' house not doing a god damn thing. I’m going fucking crazy man. I love talking to inner city kids to try and make a difference but you know what I love to do and that’s fight. I'm not a religious guy or anything like that but I have been spiritual and I think that if I don’t kill you than you shouldn’t kill me, if I don’t steal your money than you shouldn’t steal mine and if I don’t fuck your bitch than you don’t fuck mine.
MMANews.com: Do unto others…
Kevin Randleman: That’s right and I don’t know why this all happened but if you fuck with me I’m going to fuck with you. This is a hard world that we live in but we can all live a humble and prosperous life here.
MMANews.com: How do you feel now overall?
Kevin Randleman: I feel good. Before I got hurt I was running so much and then I got home one day and I got so fucking sick. FUCK. It pisses me off. I hate this shit.
MMANews.com: I couldn’t imagine going through that or how it would effect you mentally or physically.
Kevin Randleman: Can you imagine what it can do to a man mentally who is used to be so strong? I mean it’s just a hole now, it hurts, but it’s just a hole. My girl left today and I did 1,000 sit-ups and 1,000 push-ups. I’m just so programmed to be training and going to the gym. I just need to feel somebody kick me in the fucking face or at least try to.
Make sure to check back here at MMANews.com later for part two of the Kevin Randleman interview. For more exclusive MMANews.com interviews, check out the interview archive section by CLICKING HERE.