2:10 P.M. PDT -- Inyo County officials tell us ... an autopsy was performed and the cause of death is heat stroke.
One of the villains from the "Harry Potter" movies -- British actor Dave Legeno -- died while hiking in Death Valley ... TMZ has learned.
Legeno's body was found by a pair of hikers on Sunday in an area so remote ... a CHP helicopter had to be called in to remove it.
50-year-old Legeno played the werewolf Fenrir Greyback in the 'Potter' movies. He was also in "Snatch."
The Inyo County Sheriff's Department (in CA) tells TMZ it appears Legeno died of heat related issues ... and may have been dead for 3-4 days before his body was discovered. Summer temps in Death Valley are known to go over 120 degrees.
We're told the coroner still has Legeno's body while his family makes plans.
He has a daughter in her 20s.
Dave was also a pretty successful MMA fighter in the UK ... with a professional record of 4-3.
Makes 'Turtle' Crap Himself
... on 'Entourage' Set
4/2/2014 7:55 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Ronda Rousey is known for kicking ass and taking names, and on the set of the "Entourage" movie ... that name is Turtle.
Jerry Ferrara and Kevin Dillon shot a scene yesterday in Los Angeles where the UFC queen busts open a major can on them and their SUV in a road rage incident.
Seems from the clip the guys were able to talk their way out of it -- so ... sorry, no armbar for Jerry.
We're guessing he wouldn't be that lucky in real life.
More Brain Damage Than Boxing and Football ... Study Says
3/28/2014 12:30 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
MMA is the worst sport for head injuries -- even worse than football -- so says a new study.
A University of Toronto study published this month in the American Journal of Sports Medicine examined records and videos from 844 bouts, finding that about 1/3 of them end in a knockout or TKO.
The study says the head trauma rate in MMA is greater than boxing, football and hockey.
MMA groups contend the study is flawed.
I'm Down For WrestleMania, IF ...
3/18/2014 12:50 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
"Rowdy" Ronda Rousey is totally down to get in the ring with the WWE's finest at WrestleMania ... but she'll only appear with her posse.
Rousey and her roommate/UFC fighter Shayna Baszler posted a video of the two mixing it up in the ring last week -- the rumor mills went wild ... and we're told she'd be stoked to wrestle a legit match at WrestleMania.
Sources close to Ronda say she's busy with movies and real fighting ... but if WWE honchos wanted to make it happen they can get the ball rolling by hiring her crew -- the Four Horsewomen -- Baszler, Marina Shafir and Jessamyn Duke.
We're told the fighter is saying WrestleMania XXX in New Orleans next month would be out of the question ... but if the WWE is interested, she'd be down to make it happen at next year's event in SF.
Fun Fact: Ronda confesses she jacked her nickname Rowdy from Roddy Piper.
Judge Says I CAN FIGHT AGAIN!
3/10/2014 12:45 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Former UFC star Thiago Silva has been cleared to fight again ... not by the UFC (Dana White banned him for life) ... but by a judge, who says Silva has the right to earn his living.
As we previously reported, Silva was finally released from jail (on bail) after allegedly grabbing a gun and threatening to execute his wife and her boyfriend outside of a FL martial arts gym last month.
The judge slapped Silva with several restrictions (no drugs, booze, anger management, etc) ... but Silva's attorney Scott Saul tells us he DID allow Silva to resume training for his MMA career.
Weird, since one day he'll be learning how to manage his anger ... and the next he'll be training himself to pummel another man within an inch of his life.
We're told Silva -- who's under house arrest and wears an electronic tracking device -- has permission to train at a nearby gym. He's also allowed to visit with his attorney and his manager.
Since the UFC is off the table, Silva will try and book a fight with another organization -- and once that happens (if it happens), the judge will have to give approval before Silva can enter the ring.
Boxing's More Respected Than UFC
... But I Like It
3/2/2014 8:52 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
The UFC is exploding in popularity ... but the sport of boxing is still more respected than MMA ... so says former boxing champ Sugar Shane Mosely.
The 42-year-old was leaving Supper Club in Hollywood Saturday night when he explained why he thinks the UFC is still playing catch up to boxing when it comes to respect.
Shane -- who's retired -- also says he still thinks he can fight with the best in the world ... but wants to leave the sport in younger hands ... like his 23-year-old son, who's training to be just like his old man.
MLB Star Shane Victorino
I'm Training in MMA
... to Get JACKED for Baseball
2/17/2014 12:35 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Pitchers are gonna think twice before throwing inside on Shane Victorino next season ... 'cause TMZ Sports has learned, the Red Sox star is on a HARDCORE mixed martial arts training binge.
"The Flyin' Hawaiin" is getting into fighting shape with "UFC Fit" -- same MMA workout routine that helped UFC super stars like Johnny Hendricks and Thiago Alves get JACKED before fights.
Shane tells us, "As an athlete, I’ve taken part in a lot of training programs ... and UFC Fit takes things to a whole new level.”
Don Gold -- one of the honchos at the program -- tells us women's UFC star Ronda Rousey uses the system too ... "Mike Dolce and the UFC Fit team just recently trained Ronda for her UFC title defense and got her in the absolute best shape of her career."
Bottom line ... watch out for Shane when the benches clear next year.
Mastering Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
I'm a Blue Belt, Bitches!
2/13/2014 10:13 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Charlie Sheen should tread lightly ... 'cause Ashton Kutcher has just earned his advanced blue belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu -- meaning, the guy can fight.
Kutcher has been training with MMA badass Rigan Machado ... and last night in Beverly Hills, the "Two and a Half Men" star was promoted to a "two stripe blue belt" -- which means he's spent hundreds of hours on the mat learning all sorts of new techniques.
Also in the house ... UFC fighters Josh Barnett and Cub Swanson. It appears Barnett was promoted to an instructor level.
Still, Kutcher is hardly the most dangerous sitcom star -- that honor probably goes to Ed O'Neil ... who's a frickin' BLACK BELT!!!
In fact, Rorion Gracie once described Ed as "As tough as they come."
Thiago Silva's Wife
HE HAS A COCAINE PROBLEM
2/11/2014 3:27 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Thiago Silva has a serious cocaine problem ... so says his estranged wife who claims the drug made him paranoid ... though Thiago's lawyer tells TMZ Sports she's full of crap.
Thaysa Silva spoke with a Brazilian media outlet and said the UFC fighter's cocaine habit led to the demise of their marriage AND last week's gun-wielding showdown at a jiu-jitsu academy in Florida.
"The problem was cocaine. He always thinks he’s above the law," Thaysa said ... "He had the cocaine paranoia."
We spoke with Thiago's attorney who tells us ... "The claims are not justified" ... and notes that no cocaine was found on the scene, at Thiago's house or anywhere else connected to the fighter.
Even though they're technically still married, Thaysa says her relationship with Thiago ended more than a year ago.
"My marriage was over in December of 2012. In our relationship, I had to deal with the imbalance and aggressions. But I never went to talk to the police because I fear the reactions. Even after I was assaulted, I did not speak."
Thaysa also described the alleged encounter that went down at her house in the weeks before the arrest ... saying, "He came to my house, tore my clothes and pointed a gun at my head."
Thiago was arrested on February 6th -- he's currently being held without bond in a Florida jail for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
MMA Olympic Movement Growing
More Than 30 Countries Are Down
2/11/2014 12:14 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
UFC legend Randy Couture says there's serious momentum in the fight to get MMA back in the Olympics ... with more than 30 COUNTRIES on board and ready to roll.
Couture was leaving an event in L.A. this weekend when he said, "I think there's 34 or 39 countries that have signed petitions" for a sport called pankration ... an ancient form of MMA.
FYI -- pankration was an olympic sport in ancient Greece. The only rules were no biting or eye-gouging.
So, when should we expect to see MMA fighters competing for the gold? Probably not any time soon ... in fact, a UFC exec recently said he thinks it's still 20 years away.
It's OK ... good things come to those who wait.
Thiago Silva's Next Opponent
I'm Pissed We Can't Fight
'You Gotta Be F-ing Kidding Me'
2/7/2014 2:05 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
The UFC fighter Thiago Silva would've faced next -- had he not been busted for allegedly pulling a gun on his wife -- tells TMZ Sports ... he's DEVASTATED the fight's scrapped saying "you gotta be f-ing kidding me."
Ovince St. Preux was set to square off against Silva at UFC 171 on March 15 ... but after the Brazilian fighter's insane meltdown, UFC prez Dana White permanently banned him from the Octagon.
St. Preux tells us he's bummed the match is cancelled ... but agrees with the ban, saying "I understand where Dana White is coming from, he has to protect the brand ... Plus, he's my boss."
As for why he thinks Thiago snapped ... St. Preux says "we don't know what he was going through" ... adding, "If he's having personal problems, anyone in his position might've done the same thing."
"Thiago took on the bad boy role ... and he played it well," St. Preux said, "I thought it was an act, but maybe he was being himself."
It's still unclear who -- if anyone -- Ovince will face at UFC 171 in Dallas.
Thiago Silva's Wife
HE HAS A DRUG PROBLEM
2/7/2014 10:20 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Thiago Silva's wife Thaysa told law enforcement ... the UFC fighter has a "drug problem" ... and has abused her for months, this according to documents obtained by TMZ Sports.
We've obtained documents Thaysa filed in Florida back in January seeking a restraining order against Silva -- in which she checked a box saying he has a "drug problem."
In the docs, she also detailed an alleged violent incident with Thiago and says she fears for her well-being.
"I am not safe in my own house," Thaysa wrote ... adding, "I can not live more saying 'yes' and 'forgive' everything."
"I am very afraid of him."
In the documents, filed on January 6, Thaysa did not go into detail about Thago's alleged drug problem -- but she did say Thiago got violent with her while she was in a friend's home on Jan. 5th. In broken English, Thaysa seems to explain that Thiago went on a rampage and cut up her work uniform.
She also claims, "Months ago he grabbed me and pulled me."
The restraining order was granted. But last night, Thiago confronted Thaysa in front of a martial arts studio and allegedly threatened to shoot her and her supposed lover.
Silva was arrested for attempted murder -- but those charges were later reduced to aggravated assault.
Jon Jones & GSP
At Super Bowl Party
2/3/2014 12:15 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Was Jon "Bones" Jones trying to DUCK Georges St-Pierre at the Super Bowl post-game bash in NYC last night??? Because it sure as hell looked that way in this clip.
It all went down outside Marquee nightclub ... GSP has no idea he's standing 3 ft. away from his fellow UFC superstar until our camera guy points him out.
What ensues is awkward, funny and confusing ... all at the same time.
It seems "Bones" was trying to signal our photog NOT to alert St-Pierre to his presence ... but our guy didn't get the hint and gave JJ up.
Ya gotta watch the clip -- either way, it's pretty hilarious ... and "Bones" deserves an Oscar.