According to Shawn Tompkins’ brother-in-law and longtime friend and fighter Sam Stout, the revered Ingersoll, Ontario-born trainer died from a heart attack.
Stout revealed the tragic news to the London Free Press on Tuesday.
“I don’t know what to say,” Stout said. “It’s not supposed to be happen to a healthy 37-year-old person. Who would think he had to get checked out for that?”
Tompkins went to bed at a friend’s house following an MMA event in Hamilton, Ontario Saturday night and did not wake up. News of the affable 37-year-old’s passing sent shockwaves through the close-knit MMA community and cast a cloud over Sunday night’s UFC Live on Versus 5 event after UFC commentator Mike Goldberg announced the tragedy during the broadcast.
Funeral arrangements are being made today. Stout’s sister and Tompkins’ widow, Emilie arrived in London last night and will be making funeral arrangements for her husband today with the help of her supportive family.
A memorial is being planned for Tompkins in his adopted hometown of Las Vega, Nevada where he lived for the past four years and trained and coached some of MMA’s best fighters including Randy Couture, Vitor Belfort, Wanderlei Silva, Mark Coleman, Gray Maynard, Jay Hieron and Karo Parisyan at Xtreme Couture and TapouT Training Center. A proud Canadian, Tompkins told me in an interview just over a week ago that he moved to the U.S. to help his core team of Stout, Mark Hominick and Chris Horodecki by expanding the depth of their pool of talented training partners and to spread the teachings he adopted from his mentor, Bas Rutten’s system.
A memorial guestbook has been established for fans and friends wishing to express their sympathies to Shawn’s Team Tompkins family.
Tompkins’ manager Gary Ibarra from AMR Group has set up The Shawn Tompkins Memorial Fund, which is currently accepting contributions to assist Emilie with funeral and burial costs.
“Shawn was more than a client,” Ibarra stated via press release. “His passion and vision for MMA was infectious, evident by how he could motivate his fighters to become better athletes and people.On behalf of AMR Group’s athletes and staff, we extend our deepest sympathies to Emilie, Sam and Shawn’s entire family. His spirit will live on in our hearts.”
To contribute to Tompkins’ memorial fund, send an email to [email protected] Details of the memorial service will be announced in the coming days at AMRGroup.tv.