Cris Cyborg, Jon Anik and Other MMA Stars Shed Tears as Legendary Coach Passes Away

Published 08/19/2021, 12:09 AM EDT


Famed MMA coach who is known to his stable of fighters as the ‘God Father of Texas MMA’- Saul Soliz passed away. The 55-year-old lost the battle with COVID-19 according to a Facebook post put up by his friend, John Gomez via MMA Junkie. Soliz was the Head Coach of Metro Fight Club, a Houston-based outfit, and has been on the scene for 14-years as a trainer.

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One of the fighters under Soliz in Cris Cyborg took to social media and shared a heartfelt post in his memory. Cyborg has had a storied association with Saul Soliz and he clearly had a huge impact on her life and career.

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Chiefly, Cyborg wasn’t the only champion who was under Soliz in the capacity of Head Coach-star pupil. Other notable former UFC champions like Tito Ortiz and ‘Rampage’ Jackson were also under his tutelage. In fact, Soliz was also the Head Coach to some current upstarts in the sport such as Adrian Yanez.

Tributes poured in from many fighters who knew Soliz on a personal level, and it was truly heartwarming to see. Soliz’s impact was clearly widespread given the fact that he was operating out of an MMA hub like Houston, Texas.

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Cris Cyborg: An Overview

Since parting ways with the UFC, Cris Cyborg is 3-0 as a Bellator MMA champion. Her most recent victory came back in May against Leslie Smith via fourth-round TKO. The 24-2 fighter has been nearly flawless through her MMA run and she clearly will go down as an all-time great.

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The fight that sticks out like a sore thumb is her first-round KO defeat to Amanda Nunes that came at UFC 232. The defeat eventually sparked the move from the UFC to Bellator MMA as Cyborg wanted to explore her options. However, in doing so, she’s unlikely to ever get to run it back with ‘The Lioness’ and won’t get a chance to redeem herself.

However, even at the age of 36, the future is looking bright for Cris Cyborg. She continues to rack up title defenses in Bellator MMA and is only furthering her case for being the greatest featherweight fighter to ever compete in women’s MMA.

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Read this story: UFC Champions Who Never Successfully Defended Their Belts

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Darryl Pinto

1882 articles

Darryl Pinto is a senior MMA writer at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing his graduate degree in Mass Media (with a specialization in Journalism) out of Xavier’s College and has a year's experience in his current role. Darryl specializes in predictions, reporting, and covering UFC events live.

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