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The Death of a Fighter

November 26, 2014

By JP Scarano, exclusively for TheFightWorld.com

For the past few weeks now I have been hearing, reading and seeing people talk about what took place on March 29, 2014. I am referring to the untimely death of Dennis Munson Jr. in his first professional kickboxing fight against Mike Vang. This fight was put together by Duke Roufus who is the head coach of current UFC World Lightweight Champion, Anthony “Shotime” Pettis.

When I first heard about all this I was really taken aback because Duke Roufus is a former 4-time world kickboxing champion and knows what safety should be like for all the fights. But it isn’t right to place all of the blame on Roufus because it is also the cornerman’s, referee’s, and fight doctor’s job to know when a fighter has taken too much in a fight.

I saw the video and after the second round Munson was very disoriented and tripping over his feet a bit. When he got back to his corner his cornerman,  Scott Cushman, should have seen that his fighter was out and the fight needed to be called. But, the fight went on. Cushman is the head striking coach at Roufusport with many years of fighting in both boxing and kickboxing. He should have known better. 

So where was the Referee and the fight Doctor you might ask ? Let me answer that for you; the Referee was mostly looking away from Munson or not checking on him at all and the Doctor was looking at his phone and barely watching either fighter.

In the 3rd round, Munson fell down as if he fainted and there were no EMT’s or anything like that around at all. After raising Vang’s arm in a sign of victory, Munson was rolled him out of the ring and taken backstage to take care of him. Within a few short hours later, Munson was gone. What shocks me that is the doctor, the referee and everyone else are  associated with Roufusport and that the fight took place on a non-sanctioned fight card.

After an investigation by the Milwaukee Police Department, the district attorney decided not to press charges. An autopsy determined Munson’s death came as a result of “multiple blunt force injuries to the head.” Reportedly, squabbles over what treatment to provide and where to send Munson also likely contributed to Munson’s death.

I went onto Twitter and Instagram and saw a number of former Roufusport students and fighters talking about how the training was done there. Two fighters who talk about this the most are Rose Namajunas who is part of TUF 20 and Pat “HD” Barry who is a former UFC fighter and current Glory Kickboxer. They both felt that they taught too tough and really pushed people too fast and that is why there were so many people getting hurt.

Rose Namajunas stated that she had to deal with a lot because of being a woman and the trainers at Roufusport really didn’t know how to train her and pretty much bullied her. She thinks that Roufusport only cared about winning and titles.

What do you fight fans think about this and what do you get from everything that has happened ?

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