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Who’s disloyal?

When Shawn Tompkins told a tale of betrayal and disloyalty regarding Vitor Belfort switching striking coaches, we took it with a huge grain of salt. That’s because Shawn himself has shown ‘disloyalty’ several times before, jumping from Team Quest to XTreme Couture before falling out with them and moving to the Tapout Training Center. Now Vitor Belfort has a very reasonable response to the accusations of infidelity:

“Every fighter has his own mind (and) represents himself, of course, but you have people around you (who) help to make decisions,” he said. “I’ve been training four years, I think, at Xtreme Couture, and I feel good over there.

“When [Tompkins] was last there, we tried to work together. But he’s doing his thing. He was doing his team, and he wants to do it the way he wants. And I felt like I still wanted to work over there (at Xtreme Couture), but I just thought it wouldn’t have worked out. They had, like, personal issues and stuff, and I don’t take things personal. I take things professional, and I met with him and … I really talked to him, and I [said], ‘You’re going to this direction. I think for me what is better is that direction,’ and (it was) not just myself that made the decision.”

It actually sounds like Vitor’s actually the more loyal one, because he never really wanted to leave XTreme Couture with Tompkins in the first place. As for Shawn Tompkins ‘taking things personal’, nooooo. You don’t say!

  • matthewpolly

    My understanding from a couple of sources is that it wasn’t “a falling out”; rather, Tompkins got the ever-polite Couture version of Donald Trump’s “You’re fired.” A few of the long-term Team Couture fighters (Vitor was not one of them) complained to Randy about Shawn and wanted him out. Those particular fighters hold a great deal of sway at the gym and with Randy. Randy told Shawn he could “do his own thing” at the gym but his services as head coach “were no longer required”—the equivalent in the business world of taking away an employee’s computer and phone and moving his desk to the windowless filing room. Shawn, no dummy, got the hint. And the ever-polite Couture did not contradict Shawn when he needed to save face by saying that “he wanted to take his career in another direction,” i.e. spend more time with his Canadian fighter family.

    I’m sure this left Vitor in a rather awkward position. He’d trained at Xtreme for four years. All his teammates and training partners were there, and they’d just staged a coup again Tompkins. And Shawn was just one of his coaches. Vitor worked a great deal with Gil Martinez, a favorite boxing coach at the school. So where should his loyalty lie? With his school and his team or the guy who got himself fired? If Vitor made a mistake it was from too much loyalty: letting an impossible situation linger this long into the training camp for the biggest fight of his career.

    No coach likes to lose a fighter, especially one fighting for a championship belt. It’s a personal and professional relationship. And break-ups are hard to do. But as Shawn knows, top MMA fighters are stars with short career spans and even the most loyal, as GSP proved, will change coaches and managers if they think it’s in their best interests.

    Getting the boot from Randy must have been a deep wound for Shawn and Vitor’s departure salt on it, but picking at the scab by throwing dirt at Belfort (he’s training with Tyson; he’s not loyal to anyone; Good luck to Anderson, as well) was an amateur move. It’s hard to take the high road when you’re down on your luck, but Shawn should have. In a mud fight, everyone gets dirty, and Shawn has never been the most squeaky clean of characters.

  • frickshun

    POLLY’S DISHING THE DIRT!! He’s like the TMZ of MMA!!

  • matthewpolly

    Oh, if only I had the soulless commercial heart of TMZ the prior post would have been much more salacious and I’d be much richer. That was merely a shot over the bow. Personally, I’m just a Belfort nuthugger, because he was one of the few fighters at Xtreme to go out of his way to be nice to me. (Not that anyone else should have; I was nobody important; but it is the little kindnesses…) And I think it’s bad form to take a dump on one of your ex-fighter’s reputations, four weeks before the fight of his life, just because he broke up with you. It’s especially unfair when the fighter in question has a limited grasp of the English language and can’t defend himself as easily in the media as say a Jon Jones.

  • frickshun

    I’m just fucking wit you!! Tomkins is only hurting himself since other fighters would definitely not want to train w/an immature guy w/frosted tips like him.

  • DJ ThunderElbows

    Now we’ve confirmed what we’ve believed since this story got started (Smith, I think?) – Shawn is a punk bitch.

    Such is life.

  • matthewpolly

    i know frickshun! I was just clarifying for the rest of the jackals. For the record, I thought Shawn did a good deed to stand by Junie Browning, a headcase who needed a sympathetic voice to the media. He’s not a punk or a bitch. He cares about his fighters and I watched him spend countless hours working hard for them.

    And I can sympathize with lashing out. It’s a tough business. I just didn’t like the way it was playing out as “Vitor is disloyal, and his head is clouded.” Especially since I knew from my reporting that Shawn had been fired and Vitor was in the difficult position of choosing between his school and one of his coaches. That bit of gossip is not in my book and I had no intention of ever writing about it publicly–everyone deserves a little face-saving fib when things take a down turn; I’ve been fired a few times myself–but when Tompkins trashed Vitor’s fragile reputation I felt it was necessary to set the record straight.

  • DJ ThunderElbows

    when Tompkins trashed Vitor’s fragile reputation I felt it was necessary to set the record straight.

    This is why you’re not a punk bitch.

  • frickshun

    Waitaminute!! Polly wrote a book?? What exactly is a “book” anyway?

  • Predator8u

    “If Vitor made a mistake it was from too much loyalty: letting an impossible situation linger this long into the training camp for the biggest fight of his career”. I remember back in the day when he fought like 2 weeks after his sister disappeared.

    Fuck Shawn Tompkins. To me “trains with Shane Tompkins” is just one of those bulletpoints Joe Rogan says everytime one of his students displayings competence throwing a solid right cross. I imagine that it also probably cost that fighter more to train with SK cause of his name.

    All this hate from me is because of the timing. I reaLy, REALLy, really want NEO-BELFORT to destory Silva. AND We all know what kind of fighter Belfort is (inconsistent).

    These are the possibilities I see for 2011, from least likely to most probable.
    1. If Vitor wins, then like all NEW champions he’ll take 8 months off so he can fix whatever part of his body is bugging him, open a gym and stop the whole flow of top contenders rightfully timed shot at the belt.
    I HATEHATEHATE(shogun,brock,evans) this new trend.

    2. Victor wins, and another emerging trend is, Silva gets a Instant Rematch. When Victor NEVER even deserved the shot in the first Place.(1recent fight in the ufc, then a title shot). SO theres goes a whole FUCKING year wasted. Look past the narrative and determine what is JUSTice for yourself.

    3. Silva wins then starts to Dance then has a stroke and dies… in the cage… it’s got to be one of those 3.

    TO The polly-man thanks for taking your time to write for this site I thoroughly enjoy all your posts( the insight is much