Shane Del Rosario (September 23, 1983 - December 9, 2013) was an American professional mixed martial artist and Kickboxer who last competed in the UFC's Heavyweight division. He also competed for Strikeforce, M-1 Global, ShoXC, and King of The Cage. He held the distinction of being the first American to become the WBC Muay Thai World Heavyweight Champion.
Mixed martial arts career
Shane del Rosario transitioned into mixed martial arts in 2006 when he made his debut for mixed martial arts promotion King of the Cage. He then competed for notable promotions including EliteXC, M-1 Global and Strikeforce.
Shane del Rosario defeated Brandon Cash in his Strikeforce debut. He was expected to face Bobby Lashley at Strikeforce: Miami, but the bout never materialized. He was then expected to meet Ron Sparks at Strikeforce: Los Angeles on June 16, but that bout also never happened. Shane won against Lolohea Mahe by way of TKO on July 23, 2010 at Strikeforce Challengers: del Rosario vs. Mahe. After the bout, Shane expressed his desire to fight former UFC heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski.
On February 12, 2011, Del Rosario competed in an alternate bout for Strikeforce's World Grand Prix Heavyweight Tournament. He faced Lavar Johnson and won the bout with an armbar submission in the closing minute of the first round to earn the first reserve spot in the tournament.
He was to face Daniel Cormier at Strikeforce: Overeem vs. Werdum, but was involved in a car accident in which a drunk woman hit his car from the back. As a result from the accident, he suffered a herniated disc which kept him from training as well as forcing him to withdraw from the bout.
Ultimate Fighting Championship
Del Rosario was expected to face Gabriel Gonzaga on May 26, 2012 at UFC 146. Due to Alistair Overeem testing positive for high levels of testosterone, Frank Mir replaced him for the title shot which promoted Antonio Silva to fight for the co-main event against Cain Velasquez. The move left Roy Nelson with no opponent, which prompted the UFC to let him face former title contender Gonzaga while del Rosario faced Stipe Miocic. del Rosario was defeated in the second round by TKO, giving him his first professional MMA career loss.
Del Rosario faced Pat Barry at The Ultimate Fighter: Team Carwin vs. Team Nelson Finale. He lost the fight by KO at 0:26 in the second round.
Del Rosario was expected to face Dave Herman on July 6, 2013 at UFC 162. But he was later forced to withdraw from the bout due to an injury and was replaced by Gabriel Gonzaga.
Del Rosario was expected to face Guto Inocente on December 28, 2013 at UFC 168. However, del Rosario pulled out of the bout citing a rib injury.
Cardiac arrest and death
On November 26, 2013, del Rosario was hospitalized at the Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian in Newport Beach, California in critical condition after suffering from full cardiac arrest after two heart attacks.Del Rosario's manager said in a statement that “Shane del Rosario had a catastrophic cardiovascular collapse at home on Tuesday morning,”. “He was brought to the hospital in full cardiac arrest. He was resuscitated in the emergency room back to a stable heart rhythm and blood pressure. He is currently in the coronary care unit critically ill. Our prayers are with him and his family.”
According to Erik Apple, a training partner who has known del Rosario since they were in high school, the fighter’s situation has improved since Tuesday.
“Yesterday [Tuesday] there was very little hope for him to even make it past that day, It was down to the point where his liver and kidneys weren’t functioning. He was on dialysis. They had to give him the maximum amount of medication that they can just so they could get his blood pressure at an acceptable level.
“Since then, he’s actually had some positive signs. No. 1, his kidneys are functioning...he doesn’t have any problems with his organs right now as far as I know,” Apple added. “Early this morning they began weaning him of off the blood pressure medication.”
According to Apple, del Rosario was found at home by his roommate, UFC flyweight Ian McCall. McCall called 911 and administered CPR to del Rosario before he was taken to the hospital. Apple says that del Rosario had no prior health issues with his heart.
“He had some response this morning. A nurse said he sort of readjusted himself and turned his head. To me that means his brain is coming back online. If he’s moving and having some kind of reaction those are all positive signs,” Apple said.
Despite the improvements in del Rosario’s condition, Apple said that the odds are still stacked against his longtime friend.
ESPN reported del Rosario had died on November 28,and this was repeated in various outlets. The credited author denied having written the story,and later reported del Rosario alive, though without brain activity.
On November 30, Apple said del Rosario was off life support and breathing on his own. He also registered brain activity and squeezed his mother’s hand. Doctors believe he may have a rare heart condition called Long QT Syndrome. After nearly two-weeks of hospitalization, Del Rosario passed away on December 8, 2013... He was 30 years old.