Legendary MMA Coach Saul Soliz Dies Of Covid-19 Complications

Saul Soliz, whose influence on MMA goes back more than 20 years, died Tuesday morning due to complications from Covid-19, according to his wife, Toi. He was 55.

Soliz, who prepared many great fighters to compete in MMA, was in the hospital for “several weeks” and was “fighting” against the contagious virus, his wife added.

“He had a long battle, he fought really hard,” Toi told ESPN. “…Mixed martial arts is definitely his legacy… He’s very respected. And truly missed by so many people. He touched a lot of lives. I know that he touched a lot of lives, but at this point, I think it would even surprise him how many lives he touched.”

Soliz was the head coach at Houston Metro Fight Club and has been training fighters for two decades.

Fighters like Tito Ortiz, Quinton Jackson, Mark Coleman, Kevin Randleman, Michael Bisping and Ricco Rodriguez were trained by Soliz. He also worked with one of the best female fighters Cris Cyborg.

“The legacy you left will live on through the lives of all the students, family, and friends you have touched along the way,” Cyborg wrote on Facebook.

“A great man and truly one of the best coaches I’ve worked with,” Bisping added in a tweet.

Soliz was also the right-hand help for the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulations who creates the relevant rules for this sport in the state.

“The ties between us in Texas MMA are completely intertwined as it is for the entire Texas MMA community,” UFC matchmaker Mick Maynard, who once promoted shows in Texas, wrote on Facebook. “No one can say they weren’t influenced directly or indirectly by Saul including commission, promoters, fighters and coaches.”

Soliz focused on improving the next generation of MMA. He trained guys like Adrian Yanez, who is one of the best in his division in the UFC. And another student of Soliz, Mana Martinez, will make his UFC debut on August 28.

Yanez mentioned in his interviews that this loss is not only for him and Soliz’s family, also for the whole state of Texas and MMA.

The last time Yanez had a conversation with his coach was on August 4.

He was cornering his teammate at a Fury Fighting Championship. Unfortunately for them, the result what not what they expected. When he called Soliz and apologized for that, he said that it was not his fault and he should not worry about it.

“Toward the end of the conversation he just started telling me how proud he was of me, how far I’ve come, how I never gave up and consistently always just stayed true to who I am,” Yanez said. “He was just proud of the man I became. He kept giving me my praises. … I was just super happy to be able to tell him if it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be where I’m at. I’ve always tried to express that to him at every turn, every corner. Because you just never know.”

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