Robert Follis found dead
December 17th, 2018 will go down as a sad day in MMA history. Robert Follis, the head coach who originally brought fighters like Randy Couture and Evan Tanner to prominence, was found dead. Follis’ death was confirmed earlier today via his girlfriend, Myra Fukuno, on her facebook page.
Starting early in the morning, fighters and media began mourning and sharing their stories of the long-time coach. Beyond being the man who helped build Team Quest and engineered the resurgence of Xtreme Couture, the common thread in every post is about how kind of a human being Robert Follis was. He left positive marks on everyone from UFC contender Kevin Lee or Bleacher Report scribe Jonathan Snowden. His generosity was not as famous as the fighters he worked with, but it was certainly well-known within the sport.
On one of my trips to Las Vegas, Robert Follis let me stay at his house when I was in need. A true gentleman and an amazing teacher. What a loss for everyone who knew him.
— JE Snowden (@JESnowden) December 17, 2017
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
I just heard the news of Robert Follis’ death.
I knew Robert from the beginning of his MMA career and transition to coaching. He has always been a kind and supportive person and I have enjoyed a long friendship with him
Heartbreaking. You will be missed my friend.
— Josh Barnett (@JoshLBarnett) December 17, 2017
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.
Robert Follis had a spark. A light he couldn’t help but shine on whoever was fortunate enough to cross his path. It’s with me as I write this. He had a huge heart. He never met a stranger. The last time we talked he asked me how can I help you. He lit up most when helping others.
— Brian Oswald (@briancoswald) December 17, 2017
For those wishing to donate to the Robert Follis Memorial Fund, you can do so by clicking here. The fund has been organized by former MMA photographer Tracy Lee to help Follis’ girlfriend cover the costs his funeral and other expenses related to his passing. Team Quest Portland will also be holding a memorial open mat on January 21st, 2018.
R.I.P. Robert Follis.