Dennis Munson Jr., *pictured above, died on March 29th earlier this year following complications stemming from his first and only kickboxing fight. He collapsed in the ring after the final bell.
It was obviously a tragic incident but a recent detailed report from the Jornal Sentinal highlighted some of the incompetence from officials at the event put a spotlight on the Roufusport ran event.
Since the article was published a number of fighters and coaches have spoken out against Roufasport and Duke Roufus himself. One such fighter was Eric Schafer. He said, via Bloody Elbow, that “Duke Roufus is a bully, a liar, and one of the worst people I have ever met. I have never been in a more toxic environment than when I was the head grappling coach and fighter at the gym. I saw teammate after teammate getting treated like shit. Guys being told to beat up lower level guys that were just trying to help out, UFC fighters being told to beat up other UFC level fighters so they would not come back, verbal abuse, violence, guys getting lied to about fights, etc.”
Others that have spoken out against the camp include Rose Namajunas and Pat Barry.
Below you will see the video which highlights the incompetence of the ringside doctor, referee and Munson’s own cornerman. The video even hints towards a tamper on behalf of Roufusport on the footage provided where 30 seconds is coincidently cut out, during which Munson collapses in the ring. The blanks were filled in from other footage found.
Alan’s Angle: For anyone who has been to self-regulated events or events where the promoter is the decider between pocket or professionalism it is always a fear that something like this will happen. Promoters by their nature are interested in making a profit, one cannot complain about this as it is a business they are running. Fighter safety is a secondary thought for some promoters because of the cost.
I myself have witnessed dirty promoters in the scene in Ireland. One incident that springs to mind was a promoter who use their mate as a referee because it saved money hiring a qualified and experienced official. This sort of thing is horrible for combat sports. Hopefully this tragic event will open eyes across the world in the countries/states that have no regulatory bodies and will make fighters and their coaches put high levels of pressure on promoters to invest in fighter safety for their shows.
My thoughts go out to the Munson family. I hope they seek justice for their loss and finally get some closure.
(*title picture via Journal Sentinel)