Former UFC Fighter Rodrigo de Lima Killed After Altercation With Rideshare Driver

Rodrigo de Lima, a 26-year-old former UFC fighter, was hit by a car and killed in Brazil after getting into an argument with his rideshare driver, officials say.

rodrigo-de-lima_getty-Josh Hedges:Zuffa LLC : Contributor
(Photo: Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC / Contributor, Getty)

ESPN reports that de Lima was a passenger in a car in Belém, Brazil on Sunday when he got into an argument with the driver, who reportedly stopped the car and kicked de Lima out. The driver, later identified as Jefferson Roger Maciel, then allegedly drove away from the scene, turned around and struck de Lima from behind. Police are currently searching for Maciel, who reportedly fled the scene after hitting de Lima.

Deadspin identified the driver as Jefferson Roger Maciel Barata.

Michel Prazeres, a UFC welterweight and a longtime friend of de Lima’s, confirmed to MMA Fighting that de Lima got into an argument with the driver, but also said that de Lima was in the car with several friends when it happened. Prazeres didn’t say whether de Lima’s friends got out of the car with him or if they remained in the vehicle.

De Lima, who fought and lost to both Neil Magny in 2014 and Efrain Escudero in 2015 during his stint as a fighter, is survived by his wife and two young children.

He was known as "Monstro," which translates to "Monster" from Portuguese, in MMA and got into UFC shortly after winning the Jungle Fight in the welterweight division. His last fight was against Luiz Fabiano in the co-main event of the Shooto Brazil 85 last June, which he won via submission.

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In his 13 career MMA matches, de Lima went 9-3-1.

According to a report from Oliberal, de Lima was in Belém training in jiu-jitsu ahead of a pair of fight events in Kazakhstan this spring.