Shane Del Rosario dies aged 30
UFC heavyweight Shane Del Rosario died on Monday, nearly two weeks after being hospitalised after suffering sudden cardiac arrest in his home.
"It has been truly amazing to realise just how many lives Shane touched in such a positive way," Del Rosario's family said in a statement released to The Associated Press.
"As always, Shane fought hard, but it was his time to go in peace. We will miss his huge smile, his huge bear hugs, his gift of giving to others, and his Aloha spirit. He was larger than life."
Del Rosario, 30, was admitted to Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian in Newport Beach, California, on November 26 and put on life support. Doctors were able to resuscitate him in the emergency room, but he showed no sign of brain activity once admitted to the hospital's coronary care unit. Doctors modulated his body near 90 degrees in an effort to induce therapeutic hypothermia before jump-starting body and brain functions.
Del Rosario's family is interested in starting a charitable foundation to aid research on long QT syndrome, the heart condition that may have contributed to the fighter's sudden cardiac arrest last month.
On Monday, teammates of Del Rosario posted news of the fighter's passing on Twitter. The UFC released an official statement, but did not cite the time of death.
"The Ultimate Fighting Championship mourns the tragic loss of heavyweight competitor Shane del Rosario, who has passed away at the age of 30," the statement read.
"Del Rosario suffered a heart attack on Tuesday, November 26 as a result of what doctors believe to be a congenital heart disorder, according to his manager Jason House. The entire organisation sends its deepest condolences to Shane's family and friends."
Del Rosario's roommate, UFC flyweight Ian McCall, found him lying unconscious on the morning of the incident, according to his trainer Colin Oyama.
"RIP to one of the best people I've ever had the honor to have in my life and call my best friend," McCall posted on his Twitter account Monday.
The heavyweight fighter had been scheduled to compete at UFC 168 in December in Las Vegas, but withdrew from that bout recently due to injured cartilage between his ribs. He hadn't fought since a knockout loss to Pat Barry last December.
Del Rosario had been a professional mixed martial artist since 2006, also competing in kickboxing and muay thai competitions. He was the first American winner of the WBC world heavyweight muay thai championship in 2007.
He won his first 11 pro MMA bouts while competing in Strikeforce, M-1 Global and other promotions before moving last year to the UFC, where he lost his first two fights. He was stopped by Stipe Miocic and again by Pat Barry, his final opponent in December 2012.
Del Rosario trained with Team Oyama in Irvine, Calif., and spent most of his summers with his grandparents in Lanai City, Hawaii. In April 2011, Del Rosario was involved in a car accident when a drunk driver collided with him after driving into a roadside barrier. Herniated disks kept him out of action until May 2012.
The family said it will honor the fighter's desire to be an organ donor.
"He was passionate about helping others and was always there to offer a helping hand, a smile, and encouragement to anyone, not only family and friends, but also to strangers," Del Rosario's family said in its statement.
"He always put others before himself and would give the shirt off his back. He brought genuine joy and happiness to everyone he touched."
ESPN.com MMA columnist Brett Okamoto contributed to this report.
This article originally appeared on ESPN.com