Prominent mixed martial arts and kickboxing trainer Shawn Tompkins passed away in his sleep over the weekend.
An autopsy was performed on Monday revealing the 37-year-old’s cause of death as a heart attack, according to statements from his brother-in-law, Sam Stout, who said as much to the London Free Press in London, Ontario, Canada.
“I don’t know what to say,” said Stout, a UFC fighter that trained under Tomkins’ guidance. “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?”
MMAWeekly.com later spoke to Gary Ibarra from AMR Group, who represented Tompkins, and he confirmed that the long time trainer’s cause of death was because of a heart attack. Tompkins apparently had an enlarged heart and blocked arteries that caused the heart attack.
Tompkins was a popular figure, not just among his fighters, but throughout the industry.
He has long trained both kickboxers and mixed martial artists for world class competitions.
Tompkins has worked with notables such as Randy Couture, Vitor Belfort, and Wanderlei Silva, but may best be known for developing promising young fighters from the ground up. Stout, as well as Mark Hominick and Chris Horodecki are just a few of the fighters that Tompkins took under his wing in the early stages of their careers, helping them work their way up from local and regional promotions to achieve great heights in the UFC, WEC, Bellator, and other notable promotions.
There has been an outpouring of grief over his loss in the short time since his passing.
Those wishing to express their sympathies to the Tompkins family may do so at a special Shawn Tompkins guestbook. The Shawn Tompkins Memorial Fund has also been established and those wishing to contribute may contact TeamTompkins@ShogunMMA.com. A memorial service will be held in Las Vegas in the coming weeks; details will be announced at www.amrgroup.tv.
Visitation will be held in London, Ontario, Canada on Thursday with the funeral held on Friday.
(additional reporting by Damon Martin)