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Looking back at BELLATOR 47, July 23, 2011. First time in Canada for BELLATOR MMA — Rama, Ontario to be exact. The Casino and the staff were incredible. They host 1st class entertainment in their state of the art venue on a weekly basis, and they know what they’re doing. The capacity

crowd arrived early — always like to see the lines of enthusiastic fans as I enter the venue. Given that the Province had only just recently sanctioned MMA, these fans have great reason to be excited with a top level show in the

area. Marlon Sandro was dominent, though Naza stood with him and traded at will. Curran took the win from Ronnie, who just couldn’t seem to find a way inside. The entire show was a huge success. The evening was memorable for many reasons. One, though, profoundly stands out from the rest. Shawn Tompkins was in Ronnie Mann’s corner for the fight. Between rounds, he was trying to motivate Ronnie to “go after him”. Shawn knew that Ronnie was losing the fight, and wanted to do everything in his power to help him find a way to win. Sitting right next

to their corner and listening between each round, I

can tell you that ‘The Coach’ really cares, first and foremost, about his fighters. He always did.

I had a chance to share a drink that night after the show with Shawn and

his wife. After only a few minutes, it became obvious why he was so loved and respected by everyone in MMA. Less than a month later, Shawn had passed away suddenly, unexpectedly. His family, his friends,

and everyone in the MMA community was left stunned in disbelief.

Now here it is well over a year later,

and people still remember Shawn, talking about him fondly. Most end up telling a story while cracking a smile, or letting out a short little laugh. What a great tribute.