MMAJunkie – Robert Follis, a former coach at Team Quest and Xtreme Couture, is dead. His girlfriend, Myrna Fukuno, on Sunday confirmed the news via Facebook.
A cause of death was not revealed.
Former teammates, students, and MMA industry vets paid tribute to the coach on social media. In message after message, they spoke glowingly of him as a mentor and a friend who drew great joy from helping others.
Really sad news. For the many who didn’t, and still don’t, know who Robert Follis is, he was simply one of the better pure MMA coaches out there. He was known for, among other things, not just training his fighters techniques to win a cage fight, but also teaching them to hone their mind, to mine confidence from within themselves – which as you can see from the many tributes to him on social media left a huge impact on some of the biggest names in the sport.
Follis got his start at Team Quest, the vaunted gym started by Matt Lindland and Dan Henderson. Although he was seen as primarily a grappling-based coach, he had been quick in the past to note he was first and foremost “an MMA Coach” -his passion was blending the plethora of martial arts that go in Mixed Martial Arts and manipulating them into working together. He did that with great success both at Team Quest and then at Xtreme Couture, where until he departed this fall he was the go-to guy for among others, recent 155lb title challenger Kevin Lee.
I’ve known who Robert Follis was for awhile and in my humble, blogger opinion he always deserved so much respect because not only was he that good of a coach, but he did it in anonymity. He wasn’t a Vasquez or Kavanaugh or another “name brand” coach, not that there is anything wrong with that. It just takes a certain level of humility to put in the work he did on behalf of his fighters without ever really being recognized for it.
So crack a beer or better yet, go for a roll and some sparring for Robert Follis today. RIP.