UFC, Bellator, WEC Veteran Brian Gassaway Dead at Age 49

Brian Gassaway, UFC 54
Brian Gassaway, UFC 54 Credit: Jeff Sherwood/Sherdog.com

A well-traveled veteran of mixed martial arts, former UFC fighter Brian Gassaway has died at age 49.

A memorial fund established on GoFundMe confirmed the news late Sunday. No caused of death has been revealed for the former fighter and coach.

“It is with heavy hearts and great sadness that we announce the passing of our dear friend, teacher, and mentor, Brian Gassaway,” a statement on the site read.

“The samurai lived by an unwritten moral code: the Bushido. Brian embodied the virtues of this code—loyalty, courage, justice, honor, mercy, compassion, character, and self-control—by his actions. He lived his life with purpose and goodness, dedicating every waking moment to being a better person, husband, friend, fighter, and coach. And at the same time, he elevated the lives of all the people around him.”

The fundraising effort was just past halfway to its goal of $20,000 by Monday afternoon.

Gassaway fought in numerous promotions throughout his lengthy mixed martial arts career, which began in 1996. The following year, he would arrive in Pancrase. He’d step into the WEC cage for the first time in 2005; that same year, he would fight Diego Sanchez at UFC 54. The fight was his lone appearance in the UFC octagon, but he would later return to the WEC. His last win came under the Bellator MMA banner in 2010; he fought just once more the following month.

With over 50 pro fights, Gassaway finished his fighting career with a respectable 29-20-2 (1NC) record. He stayed close to the sport even after his fighting days were done, working as a coach and touching the lives of numerous fighters.

Gassaway is survived by his wife, brother, and son, among other friends, family members and loved ones.