I’m sure by now you’ve heard of the loss our community suffered lately – the unfortunate passing of renowned trainer Shawn Tompkins.

When I read the news on Twitter I was shocked. It was incredible to see another member of the MMA community pass before their time. As in every case, though, I shortly thereafter find myself amazed at the outpouring of support and respect shown from fighters, coaches, reporters and promotions. Other notable members of the community that have tragically passed in recent memory include Mask from TapOut, former UFC middleweight champion Evan Tanner, Justin Levens, and Ryan Gracie. As shock faded, though, I saw dozens – if not hundreds – of Tweets and retweets from fighters, coaches, news outlets and fans expressing condolences and sorrow and showing their respect for the loss of a beloved figure.

It is interesting to note how much respect for is shown for this unfortunate occurance from a sport where one of the chief criterion of judging/success is damage incurred. As the sport continues to become more mainstream it will be displays of respect and community such as these that help convince the media that the sport and it’s devotees are far more than barbarians.

One such reminder of this comes from the list of names above – Tanner. His inspirational story is chronicled in the upcoming documentary ‘Once I Was A Champion’.

As we learn more about the untimely passing of Tompkins we can only hope that an equally suitable piece is created in the memory of a valued and honored member of the community. As a fan who first and foremost respects the sacrifice and preparation that goes into every bout for our amusement, let me say that he will be sincerely missed by the community at large.