Shawn Tompkins, a friend of many who read this blog passed away.
He was only 37 years old and apparently had a heart attack.
(In this pic, Shawn sitting and laughing, in the red shorts Wanderlei Silva, Closest to camera Josh Haines, and dk in white shirt)
Shawn was one of the most alive, vibrant and wonderful guys I have known, and his death is devastating.
I am sitting here in tears, and I still can not believe it.
Some of the most memorable moments of my life took place because of Shawns generosity and friendship.
The night Randy Couture fought Brock Lesner for the UFC heavyweight championship, was a worknight for Shawn, being Randy’s coach.
That night after the fight Shawn showed up a bit bruised and bloody himself after sparring with Randy before the fight. What was one of the biggest nights career wise for Shawn, the most famous MMA trainer in the world, Shawn hooked up with my wife and I right after the fight to introduce us and show us around. That night I got to meet many of the pro UFC fighters, and got invited into the club with Shawn by Kim Couture, Randy’s wife.
Shawn also flew out to San Diego to train all of us during thinktank, and brought his favorite fighter and close friend Sam Stout. Shawn married Sams beautiful and wonderful sister, Emilie.
Shawn was always there for me, to hold trainings during Pubcon and Affiliate Summit, to introduce me to any of the big fighters I wanted to meet. There was always a smile on his face, but he was never afraid to train the fighters hard.
Oddly, a few hours before I heard of Shawns death, I was telling a story about him. In fact it is the way I will always remember him. Jenny (whiteshorts) and I were at the Couture gym in Vegas. The gym was closed, except for the pro fighters, who meet to have their MMA training there each day. Every weekday from 4 to 6, the biggest names in the UFC would get together at the Couture gym, and Shawn would lead the training. That day, Jenny and I were screwing around out on the matt where the fighters were training.
Jenny and I were in a bit of a blocked in area surrounded by padded walls, thinking we were out of the way. We are watching Wanderlei Silva and Shawn play Rockem Sockem Robots with each other. I swear neither of them were blocking, and both of them were hitting at full force, full contact, no pulling of the punches at all. They both had smiles on their faces, and were pounding each other so hard, I swear you couldn’t just hear the hits, you could feel them. Shawn was a pretty boy, with a lovely face, and bleached white hair, but he could hit like a mother f$%ker.
As they pounded each other, hit after hit, boom, boom, boom like the back of a lowrider blasting base, they were inching toward Jenny and I. We started hiding more and more into our little corner, with these two charging bulls moving toward us. They may have known they were heading toward us, or they may not of. Jenny and I were laughing hysterically while these two killing machines were pounding closer and closer to us.
Jeanny and I both knew we were in the presence of something magestic, like sitting in your tent while tigers are fighting each other just outside the door.
Shawn will be forever alive in my mind, just the way he was then, bleach blonde hair, throwing punches that could break a mans jaw, and taking hits full in the face by one of the hardest hitters there ever has been, all the time with this classic smile on his face.
Those were the words that Coach Tompkins said to me after the fight.
During the fight, the crowd kept breaking into spontaneous, RANDY!, RANDY!, RANDY! RANDY! chants. When Randy went down the last time, I started a lead of that chant, but my words ended up getting stuck in a lump in my throat.
Yeh, I got a knot in my stomach when Brock was pounding on Randy’s head, and a tear in my eye when the ref called the fight.
Three minutes later after taking a beating that would have sent me to the hospital or killed me, Randy was up, a smile on his face, a twinkle in his eye, thanking the crowd for their huge support, and making jokes about the fact that Brock is just, well, big! and that he could see those big ham hocks coming toward him!
Randy is a year older than me. How can I ever dare complain about anything or make an excuse about anything with him around?
He is a true champ, and I am so proud to be associated with him, his family, his coach, and his team!
I’ve never seen an individual who so deserves the name of champ. No matter what, Randy will always be the heavyweight champion of the world.
Congratulations to Brock for accomplishing the impossible. You have to give the guy credit, and a bow of respect for fighting and beating the unbeatable Randy.
My wife bought me tickets for my Christmas present, and even with the loss, it was one of the great nights of my life.
Here are pics from Thursday, two days before the fight, and from the fight itself.
You can see Junie in the background with his hot girlfriend also!
For those of you who don’t know her, Sugarrae is a famous internet marketer, blogger and SEO.
Mediadonnis, Josh Haynes and dk. What makes it even more strange and fun is that Josh used to be a computer engineer.
Coach Tompkins (Shawn) texted me that they were all meeting at Studio 54 so I shot over, and ran into Gina, Sam Stone, Junie, and a bunch of the other pros waiting at the bar next to it.
We went into studio 54, (Thanks Kim for getting us in!), which was a total madhouse! The crowd loves Randy, and just can’t get enough of him. Sam Stout was there, and you can see all the fighters just love to see each other and hang out. A lot of them live out of Vegas, yet they are still Couture boys all the way. Shawn is like a father to many of them.
Then on the way out, we ran into Mike Whitehead who you can never miss in a crowd! He introduced me to the cowboy who almost was in our poker tourney.
We then walked for a few million miles until we found the valet. We ran into Martin Kampmann. I never knew he was from Denmark. He sounds like he comes from Chicago, and has only been in this country for two years. Like everyone in the Couture camp, he is an incredibly warm and nice guy! He busted out his Danish in response to my wife’s Norwegian.
Then, back in San Diego, I was asked a couple of times by people today if Randy was going to retire now after that loss and his age. Each time I looked at them in disbelief and said, are you F-ing kidding me? He’s just getting started!