The death of legendary mixed martial arts head coach Robert Follis has been ruled a suicide by the Clark County (Nev.) Coroner, a spokesperson from the coroner’s office told MMA Fighting on Monday.
Follis, the former coach at Xtreme Couture and a founding member of Team Quest, died Friday of a gunshot wound to the head, the spokesperson said. The place of death was Nevada State Route 160. Follis was 48 years old.
News of Follis’ unexpected death surfaced Sunday and with it came an outpouring of emotion from the MMA community. Dozens of Follis’ friends, colleagues and fighters took to social media to remember his life and mourn his death.
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
You don’t realize how much of an impact you had on my life. A good coach is so much more than someone to teach techniques. Through the darkest moments in my career and life you’ve helped me see the light and keep pushing. I thank you for everything and apologize for everything more. The next gold belt is for you.
Today we lost a true pioneer of the sport, without a doubt changed many fighters Lives. Robert Follis was legend and one of the founders of Team Quest. I have heard so much about him through my lineage and through fate had the chance to meet him and work with him on TUF 25. He was a tremendous coach and and great Person and had a big influence on me winning TUF. I was so lucky to get to know him an Work with Robert. He was a great person as well as coach and was looking forward to train with him in the future. A super kind man and sad but happy I got to meet and work with this legend of a person. Ill see you on the other side Coach Follis and thank you for your teachings..RIP coach Follis
Follis’ girlfriend Myra Fukuno wrote Sunday on Facebook that the Follis family would need “considerable” time for privacy. But she shared an email address where people can send memories, stories and photos of Follis: email@example.com
“If you have a story about him or pictures you would like to share, please do so here so that all of us can may visit different parts of his life,” Fukuno wrote. “If you would like to share something more privately, I’ve set up an email address that some family members will be able to access. Stories, photos, etc are welcome. We may not be able to respond, but please know that we will sort through them as part of our healing process. Thank you for your patience and understanding. Memorial service information will follow at a later time.”
Follis was the head coach at Xtreme Couture for the last four years, guiding the likes of UFC fighters Miesha Tate and Kevin Lee, among others. He departed the gym earlier this month, with plans to open his own facility. Follis was a co-owner of the legendary Team Quest, along with Randy Couture and Matt Lindland. He spent 10 years at the Gresham, Ore., powerhouse gym.