Former UFC welterweight Brian Gassaway dead at 49
Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight Brian Gassaway, who also competed in World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) and Bellator MMA, among countless other regional and international fight promotions, passed away Monday at the age of 49.
The cause of death has not yet been revealed.
“It is with great regret and sadness that we announce the passing of our dear friend, teacher and mentor, Brian Gassaway,” wrote a GoFundMe organizer to help raise money for funeral expenses. “Very few people have the courage to follow their dreams. Brian was one of them. He proved himself around the world against some of the best fighters on the planet having competed in the UFC, Bellator, WEC, King of the Cage, Iron Heart Crown, Shooto and Pancrase. “
Gassaway (29-20-2, 1 NC) made his only Octagon appearance at UFC 54: “Boiling Point” in the summer of 2005, losing to then-undefeated rising star Diego Sánchez via second-round TKO ( TKO).
“Brian raised his hand 29 times, but came out of the ring like a better man after each competition. In 2018, Brian was inducted into the Illinois Martial Arts Hall of Fame. And, announced yesterday, in honor of Brian’s contribution to the art of Muay Thai in the United States, the Sanctioning Authority of the Thai Boxing Association has created the Brian Gassaway Award.
“With over 50 professional MMA fights and countless kickboxing and Muay Thai competitions, Brian was one of the most experienced fighters and coaches in the world. It is as a coach that he really stood out. Brian’s selfless pursuit to improve the lives of his students through the study of martial arts was evident to all. He gave his students purpose, lifting many up during their darkest moments. Being the light that showed them the way forward. “
Gassaway is survived by his wife and son.