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Longtime MMA head coach Robert Follis dies

One of the most accomplished coaches in mixed martial arts has died.

Robert Follis, who most recently was the head coach at Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas, died Friday, his girlfriend Myra Fukuno confirmed Sunday on Facebook.

“Robert Follis, a man who has touched and changed so many lives, passed away on Dec. 15, 2017,” she wrote. “He was kind. He was loving. He was compassionate. Robert was an incredible teacher, who opened our minds and created a space where we knew learning was possible. He had a way of pulling the best out of us. He will be remembered as a beloved friend, brother, son, mentor, and coach by many.”

The cause of death was not confirmed as of Sunday evening.

Fukuno wrote that Follis’ family has asked for privacy during this difficult time. However, an e-mail address has been set up for those who knew Follis to share stories and photos:

“We may not be able to respond, but please know that we will sort through them as part of our healing process,” Fukuno wrote. “Thank you for your patience and understanding. Memorial service information will follow at a later time.”

Many of Follis’ friends, colleagues and students honored him Sunday on social media.

As one of the founding members of Team Quest and Xtreme Couture MMA it is with great sorrow that we say good bye to Robert Follis. Robert was a friend, coach, mentor, and philosopher of martial arts to many of us. It is with a very heavy heart that I write this tribute to a man that touched so many. Death is like the sun. There is no escaping it. It infuses every part of our lives, but it doesn’t make sense to stare at it too long. That becomes a real challenge when someone you know, love, and respect ends their life. This is where Robert has been since his brothers passing a couple years ago and where we are left now. It is very easy to get caught up in the urgency that comes from the limited span of our lives. It can push us to obsess over life’s meaning in the time we have. But obsessing over it, and staring directly at it too long can blind us to the possibilities of living. Robert was a Hero to many. Heroes have the whole earth as their tomb . . . There is, enshrined in the chest of every person he touched, a record unwritten with no tablet to preserve it. It’s that which he imprinted on our hearts. What lives on is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what he has woven into the lives of others. Those who have lived with us become a part of us. We honor the dead by living their values. Through our efforts, we ensure that the good things they stood for continue to stand even when they are gone. Robert stood for many good things. Let’s let Our actions become a living memorial to Robert Follis. R

A post shared by Randy Couture (@xcnatch) on

Sucks to wake up and hear this news. RIP Robert Follis such a nice guy.

Posted by Dana White on Sunday, December 17, 2017

Follis coached at Xtreme Couture for four years, but left there earlier this month. He was the head coach for the likes of UFC fighters Miesha Tate, Kevin Lee and Bryan Caraway.

Before that, the Oregon native was the longtime coach and co-owner at the legendary Team Quest in Portland, helping guide Randy Couture, Dan Henderson and many more MMA luminaries from early on in their careers. Follis was partners with Couture and Matt Lindland starting in 1998 and was with the Gresham, Ore., team for 10 years.

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