UFC lightweight Sam Stout appeared on Mauro Ranallo’s The MMA Show podcast yesterday and the longtime Team Tompkins fighter revealed his reason for bowing out of his upcoming UFC 137 bout with Dennis Siver in October.
As expected, Stout says he’s still grieving the loss of his longtime trainer, mentor, best friend and brother-in-law, Shawn Tompkins who passed away suddenly earlier this month and has not decided where or with whom he will train with, but the decision, which will take a lot of soul searching to make, won’t be his alone to make.
“Shawn has been my coach since I got into the sport. I’ve never had a fight, dating back to my kickboxing career…I’ve never had a fight, without him training me for it and without him being in my corner…I’m not one of these guys who’s jumped around from coach to coach over the years and trained with lots of people,” he says. “He’s taught me really everything I know about mixed martial arts. And not only that, he was a lot more than that to me. He was a brother and a trusted friend and confidant and really, my mentor. Definitely the most influential person in my life. I’m going to have to wait for the dust to settle a little bit before I’m ready to get back in there and figure out what I’m going to do in terms of coaching. I’m really just unsure of what I’m going to do right now.We’ve discussed it and you’re going to see some changes being made to the team, but we don’t think Shawn would have wanted us to all go join other teams. He would have wanted us to stick together.”
According to Stout, he and teammates Chris Horodecki and Mark Hominick — the trio of fighters who along with Tompkins made the TT brand a household name in MMA, haven’t decided whether or not they will step back in the cage this year as it’s too early to decide given the fact that their mentor passed so recently, but when they do, they’ll have each other’s backs.
“I don’t want to speak for the other guys, but I’m fairly sure Horodecki pulled out of his fight in September. I think Mark’s still trying to decide what he’s going to do, but he’s leaning towards sticking with the [UFC 140] fight in Toronto,” he says. “If Mark goes out and chooses to stick with this fight in December, and I think he’s going to, he’s going to have me and Chris walking out right behind him and we’re going to show a strong front because we’re family and that’s what Shawn would have wanted.”
Sam also touched on the irony that a seemingly fit trainer who was known for strapping on the gloves and sparring with and hitting a bag alongside his fighters would die from a heart attack.
“It’s just one of those things. You think you’re somebody who works out every day and you think you’re invincible. He wasn’t the type of guy to go see doctors. He was kind of an old school type of person,” he points out. “It was just one of these fluke things. A 37-year-old guy who devoted his life to fitness and exercise, it just blindsided everybody.”