Yesterday’s UFC On Versus 5 event was overshadowed by the news that one of the sports most respected coaches Shawn Tompkins had died in his sleep at the age of 37.

The news emerged as the show was already underway, and it wasn’t long before a variety of fighters and MMA personalities began paying their respects to a man who seemed to have the respect of everyone he encountered.

Bas Rutten: “Shawn is one of my best friends, one of the best if not the best striking coaches on the planet, and I mean this.  He always put his students and friends before him, would do anything for them.”

Chuck Liddell: “Sad to hear the news about Shawn Tompkins. My condolences to his family. He was a great guy and coach.”

Shane Carwin: “RIP Shawn Tompkins your impact on MMA and this world will be remembered by millions.”

Vitor Belfort: “I am praying for tompikins family so they can find rest on the bosom of Jesus. Emily Seek Jesus because only him will give you peace.”

Wanderlei Silva: “My condolences to the family shaum tompkins who died on Sunday, was my coach Thai, a great loss pro Mma.”

Mark Hominick: “I just think the reality is setting in now,” an emotional Hominick said Monday. “We are trying to get our head around this and we just can’t. We’re trying to hold it together but it’s so hard.”

Joseph Benavidez: “Sad n shocked to hear bout the passing of Coach Tompkins. I just recently started working with him in Vegas. He’s a great trainer n person.”

John Alessio: “In shock! Today is a tragic day for the MMA community..We have lost a beloved trainer Shawn Tompkins.”

Sean Shelby (Strikeforce matchmaker): “Shawn’s light burned brighter than most. He will be missed by so many people. My heart goes out to the Tompkins family.”

Showdown Joe: “Tompkins was the very first fighter who supported my Showdown Fightwear line and was my very first sponsored athlete. I owe him everything.”

Mark Pavelich (MFC Owner): “He was a great friend and had passion for the sport like no other. God bless and R.I.P- S.T Very sad day.”

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Ross launched MMA Insight (previously in 2009 as a way to channel his passion for the sport of mixed martial arts. He's since penned countless news stories and live fight reports along with dozens of feature articles as the lead writer for the site, reaching millions of fans in the process.


  1. I am completely in shock. He will be greatly missed by all in the Aylmer, London and Tillsonburg Area