News of the death of longtime mixed martial arts coach Robert Follis sent shockwaves through the MMA community on Sunday as speculation quickly spread that he had taken his own life.
Late Sunday, Follis’ girlfriend, Myra Fukuno confirmed he had died sometime on Friday, Dec. 15, but did not divulge the circumstances surrounding his death.
The Clark County Coroner’s Office on Monday confirmed that Follis’ death was ruled a suicide via a self-inflicted gunshot wound, also confirming that he was found along Nevada State Route 160 near Red Rock Canyon, where he had spent much time over recent years.
According to friends close to Follis, including Randy Couture, he had struggled with the suicide of his brother, which occurred a couple years ago. Despite that fact, nearly everyone that knew him was taken aback when learning that Follis, a man known for his caring and positivity, had taken his own life.
Follis has been in the mixed martial arts industry for the better part of two decades. He was a center point of Team Quest, which housed many of the biggest names in the sport, including Couture, Matt Lindland, Chael Sonnen, Chris Leben, Dan Henderson, Evan Tanner, Ed Herman, Nate Quarry, and numerous others.
He was more recently a coach at Xtreme Couture, working alongside fighters such as Miesha Tate during her championship run and lightweight contender Kevin Lee.
Robert Follis was 48 years of age.