As first reported by 5thRound.com this past Monday, Shawn Tompkins has confirmed that he has left his position at the famed Xtreme Couture gym to start anew at the TapouT Gym just down the street in Las Vegas, Nevada.
“The gym, the direction it’s going and the direction I want to go are two different things,” Tompkins told Fighters Only. “A few years back I set up some goals for myself, and I’m just at a point right now where I want to follow through with some of those goals. One of those is to really bring back the Team Tompkins brand, and try and put together a bit of a legacy for myself.
“A lot of the fighters that I’ve been training over the years and helping guide their careers are going to be coming with me. And it’s not a personal thing … it’s just a matter of some fighters are good with some coaches, and some coaches are good with some fighters.”
Although Tompkins still needs to establish himself as an elite cornermen, he has been one of the sport’s best striking coaches for quite some time. Clearly, this move will allow him to create his own footprint in MMA lore.
According to Tompkins, he and Xtreme Couture owner, UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture, have separated amicably, however Tompkins made it perfectly clear that he will be taking some of his Xtreme Couture talent with him, so we’ll see how long Couture remains cool with it.
One fighter that Tompkins isn’t afraid to take with him is troubled lightweight Junie Browning, who was recently arrested for assaulting hospital workers who were trying to treat him for an apparent drug overdose.
Word on the street is Browning allegedly attempted suicide after breaking up with his girlfriend.
“He really is a great person and that wasn’t Junie Browning,” Tompkins said of his protege. “Sometimes when you’re involved in things like, even if it’s prescription drugs, the drugs are bigger than the person … I will stand behind him because he’s a human being and it’s more than just teaching people how to kick and punch. I take my job personal, and I feel that he’s my responsibility.”