Anthony Pettis Defends Coaches, Others After Teammate’s Death

November 21, 2014
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UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis is coming off of a coaching stint on the first all-female season of The Ultimate Fighter, and is currently preparing for a title defense against Gilbert Melendez at UFC 181 on Dec. 6 in Las Vegas. It has been more than a year since Pettis has fought, having been sidelined to deal with various injuries.

Now, on the cusp of his return, he faces the added distraction of his Roufusport teammate Dennis Munson Jr. dying following his competitive kickboxing debut. Not only did his teammate unfortunately pass away, an investigative piece by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel has led to lots of finger pointing and accusations by former Roufusport fighters that Pettis’ coaches, who also operated the non-sanctioned event where Munoz died, should shoulder a heavy dose of the blame for the death.

SEE ALSO: Experts Weigh In on Death of Amateur Kickboxer (Video)

Pettis – who is also a co-owner of Roufusport – just wants to get back to fighting, but in the above interview with the Journal-Sentinel, he defended his coaches, partners, and other officials that have been the targets of a firestorm of criticism.

“It just upsets me that people are taking to the blogs and the websites and attacking the coaching as being a factor in what happened,” said Pettis, a co-owner of the gym. “It wasn’t one person’s fault. It wasn’t (Munson’s) fault. It wasn’t the referee’s fault. It was a combination of a lot of things.”

Check out the video for Pettis’ comments about his fight and the tragedy in full context.

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  • Mark McDowall

    With all the training injuries Pettis and alot of his teammates have had…that’s going to be a tough sell saying that negligence in training had absolutely nothing to do with it.

    • Seth

      I don’t think you can say “Ow, this camp has a lot of injuries so they prolly doing something wrong”. There are guys that which are getting injured easier, some of them are just overworking themselves because they love martial arts, there are guys with simply bad luck. I don’t think that argument like “they have a lot of injures” is somehow legit in that kind of talk :/

      • George Sperry

        prolly? What’s that?

        • Seth

          shortcut for probably.

  • Shartnado2, the Sloppy One

    Law of averages. X amount of MMA fights = X amount of deaths in the ring. More fights = more deaths

    • JJDNB

      1984!! awesome pic

      • Shartnado2, the Sloppy One

        for sure, more relevant in 2014 now

  • John

    Of Course Anthony Pettis is going to say nothing but the best about Duke Roufus, Its easy when your the

    1. champ of one of the top organizations in the world
    2. co owner of the gym

    Your essentially the face of the gym and they will treat you like gold anybody and everybody revolves around you ( meaning pettis) all your needs get catered to.

    Take for example Tristar Gym they all cater to George St Pierre you could be just a random and be treated like s—, but no one will do that to GSP Because of who he is. And if there was any allegations of abuse once again of course GSP would now be defending his gym/coaches.

    Anyways I always thought Duke Roufus was d–k and a s—-y coach he tries to mold all his standup fighter like Anthony Pettis ( Example Eric Koch ) thinking because it works for Pettis It will work for anybody, how many time has Koch Been Ko’d/Tko’d what works for Pettis Won’t work for everybody else.

    And of course there more to blame than just Roufus but I wont get in to it as I realize I have typed a mini essay.

    • observer

      sounds like you have a grudge against pettis more than anything…

      • John

        No I actually am a Fan of Pettis Since WEC Days But like I said I wouldn’t listen to his side of the story, I actually cant stand Duke IMO which was made more clear in my previous post.

        • Guest


      • LOLOl

        Actually i think john is right. Not everyone can be pettis. Different people have different fight styles. Duke seem to forget this isn’t just a kickboxing fight.

        To john i honestly thing this was a unprofessional event. I saw the fight on youtube and medical doctor was on the phone.. didn’t even come check the kid. No one else did and the couch actually wanted the kid to fight still.. in my opinion i think the kid didn’t know when to stop. The coach didn’t think it was that serious, The ref was lazy if you saw a person getting beat up that badly you would stop it… It was sooo many problems on this fight… this could all be prevented if they look at the kid more but then again ANYTHING can happen so from pettis point of view i can agree with him (not the biggest fan of pettis and i think his fighting style is just to straight forward.. he need to be challange by a strong wrestler.. Clay guida proved that lol)

  • DamianCross

    For god’s sake A KID IS DEAD IN HIS FIRST FIGHT. Stop trivializing this!!

  • Rube Kegal

    The Youtube video that tries to analyze the death is absolute nonsense. Do you know how often referees break apart fighters and one fighter appears to stumble over his feet? Fatigue plays a major role in that happening and it’s so prevalent that you simply cannot incarcerate the medical professionals that were in attendance that night. I just wonder if there was a pre-existing heart condition or if Munson took a strike to the sternum/heart area that could have triggered something.

    • J

      Nooo no no this was much different. Ive been a HUGE fight fan for 25 years and the way that fight was handled by the ref, doctor, and coaches is a f—ing disgrace. That poor kid could barley stand up let alone throw punches and kicks. I agree that those involved shouldnt be jailed and I dont think it was done on purpose but the doctor and ref should never be able to do another fight again.

  • Vicki Welker

    I believe Pettis is a good fighter and a stand-up type guy. But he’s totally bias in defense of his gym and coaches. There’s no way you can watch the video and believe that the coaches, referee and idiot doctor are not responsible. The corner, referee and doctor failed to protect this kid when he was unable do so for himself, period!!!!!

  • dandogood

    Pettis seems to be a decent man and caring for others.