After details began to arise regarding Denis Munson Jr., a Roufusport kickboxer who died hours after making his amateur debut at Duke Roufus' American Fighting Championship promotion last March, several notable fighters began to air their grievances about the now-controversial coach and his allegedly brutal coaching staff.
However, several of the top fighters at Roufusport have come out in support of the coach, including most recently UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis, who defended his longtime coach and proclaimed him to be "family."
"The thing that gets to me is that they're attacking guys that I look at as fatherly figures," Pettis told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "My family, to me. This is a family here. When you attack one of us you attack all of us. I'm not getting too personal with it The truth will come out and then people will see how it is. For every bad story there's 100 people training in the gym that love the culture and love what's going on here."
The 24-year-old's death sparked outrage in the MMA community when the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel released an investigation into the death, which fuelled several fighters to open up about their personal experiences at the gym.
Pettis, however, believes that Roufus and his staff are not accountable for their actions on that night, and that Munson's death could have been the unfortunate result of a series of accidents.
"It just upsets me that people are taking to the blogs and their websites to directly attack the coaching as being the factor in what happened," said Pettis. "There's a lot of things that made that outcome. It wasn't one person's fault. It wasn't his[?] fault, it wasn't the referee's fault. It was a combination of a lot of things that led for this to happen. All we can do is take precautions and be safer next time."
The champ took it one step further when he accused Roufus naysayers with having ‘personal vendettas' against the coach and his staff.
"The truth will come out," said Pettis. "Everybody knows how Duke is. Duke's not hiding, he's doing interviews. He's talking to the media. The story was one-sided. We didn't address that story at all so it was one side. They can make it look however they want but the saddest thing is Denis dying. That's what it should be about."
Transcription taken from MMAFighting.com.