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MMA Coach Mauricio Zingano, 37, Found Dead After Apparent Suicide [UPDATED]


(Mauricio Zingano [right], shown here with his wife Cat and their son Brayden. / Photo via zinganobjj.com)

Third-degree BJJ black belt, coach, and former MMA fighter Mauricio Zingano has died at the age of 37, after reportedly committing suicide yesterday in Denver. Zingano was the husband of top-ranked UFC bantamweight Cat Zingano, the father of a young son, and the owner of two Black House MMA gym-affiliates in Colorado. Zingano’s manager Jorge Guimaraes confirmed the tragic news last night with Globo:

Yes, he hanged himself in Denver on Monday. It’s something unexplainable, [I] do not know what may have motivated him to do so. We were together and he was fine, had plans and a lifetime ahead. It’s a tragedy. I’m going to Denver today to assist Cat, who is devastated, does not know what to do.”

According to his bio, Zingano began studying Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu at the age of 16 under the tutelage of the Gracie family, and represented their art in several “challenge matches,” in which martial artists from other disciplines would come to the Gracie Academy to challenge BJJ fighters. (“He was known as one of the ‘gate keepers’ at the Gracie Jiu Jitsu Academy during an era where bouts were fought without protective gear, weight classes and on a moment’s notice.”)

Zingano went on to become a two-time BJJ national champion, and was undefeated in amateur and professional MMA competition. He opened his first BJJ school in 2004, and was voted “Colorado’s MMA Coach of the Year” in 2010.

Our deepest condolences go out to the Zingano family during this painful time.

Updates, after the jump: MMAWeekly adds a couple more details on Mauricio’s death, and Cat Zingano releases an official statement.

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Bold Statement of the Day: Miesha Tate Will Shoot Herself in the Face if Ronda Rousey Armbars Her Again


(What a tragedy. And she was such a pretty girl, too. / Miesha Tate ‘Body Issue’ photo by Ben Watts for ESPN The Magazine)

To say that Miesha Tate is still haunted by her gnarly armbar loss to Ronda Rousey last year would be an understatement. In a recent interview with MMAFightCorner (via BleacherReport), Tate explains that suffering a second armbar loss to Ronda at their rematch at UFC 168 in December would be a suicide-worthy scenario. Figuratively speaking. Maybe.

It’s never too early to train and practice that gameplan over and over and over, I’m going to beat it into my skull if I have to,” Tate said. “Swear to God, she’s not going to armbar me if it’s the last thing I do. I will seriously shoot myself in the face before I leave that cage if she armbars me again. It can’t happen.

Two things…

1) I wasn’t aware that fighters were allowed to bring guns into the Octagon, following the Diaz-Cerrone Peace Accords of 2011.

2) I have no problem with this.

Tate went on to give her own explanation of why she fell prey to Rousey’s signature move, and described the Rondabar in terms that make it even more mysterious and scary:

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Update: Levens the Suspected Shooter in Murder-Suicide, According to Autopsy Results

Autopsies conducted by the Orange County Sheriff Coroner’s Office are leading authorities closer to ruling the deaths of the fighter and his wife a murder-suicide, with Levens as the suspected shooter.  A spokesman for the coroner described the fatal gunshot wounds to Sherdog.com, saying: “It was a chest wound that penetrated her heart and killed her and his was to the head.”

The two were found next to one another in their bed, with a gun found next to Levens’ body.  Autopsy results put the deaths at around four days ago.

In the Laguna-Niguel condo the Orange County Sheriff’s Department found prescription painkillers and anti-depressants, though the pills were not in the typical pharmaceutical containers.  

An AP report claims that police had visited the condo twice in the last month, once for a possible overdose.  An “anonymous source” tells NBC Sports that Levens was “never the same” after the suicide of IFL teammate Jeremy Williams in May of 2007.

Levens’ one-time agent, Ken Pavia, described him as having become “disenchanted with his career and the sport.”

No suicide note has been found.

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