Veteran MMA coach Saul Soliz passed away today after “a long hard fight” with COVID-19 (per MMA Fighting). He was 55-years-old.
Soliz is best known for coaching pioneering fighters from PRIDE FC and the early UFC. Among those fighters were Tito Ortiz, Quentin ‘Rampage’ Jackson, Mark Coleman, Mark Kerr and Kevin Randleman.
Soliz also coached current Bellator featherweight champion Cris Cyborg and was also a member of Tito Ortiz’s coaching team for two seasons of The Ultimate Fighter.
At the time of his death Soliz, who was known as ‘The Godfather of Texas MMA’, was coaching out of Metro Fight Club in Houston. At that gym Soliz was training Adrian Yanez, who is 4-0 in the UFC after earning a contract on the Contender Series in 2020, and Mana Martinez, who was scheduled to make his UFC debut this Saturday before withdrawing for undisclosed reasons.
After news of Soliz’s passing broke there was an outpouring of messages on social media from fighters who knew him well. Below are just some of those posts.
RIP Saul Soliz. The legacy you left will live on through the lives of all the students, family, and friends you touched along the way. pic.twitter.com/eRO3Js8Hes— @CrisCyborg.Com (@criscyborg) August 17, 2021
What would Coach Saul say if someone was talking shit...— Mike Jackson, Esq. (@TheTruthJackson) August 17, 2021
"Nothing. Cause I wouldn't know. I'd be at home on the couch, watching TV."
One of the greatest men I've ever had the pleasure of calling a friend & coach, was called home today. I love you, coach. Rest easy. pic.twitter.com/igY4NWjjzV
Just learned of the incredibly sad news that coach Saul Soliz has passed away. A great man and truly one of the best coaches I’ve worked with. Anyone know what happened? Literally just saw a post but no info. RIP Saul, you made a huge impression on me when you coached me on TUF.— michael (@bisping) August 17, 2021