The MMA world is mourning the loss of UFC heavyweight Shane Del Rosario, who passed away at the age of 30 earlier this week.
Del Rosario had suffered a heart attack back on November 26, said to be the result of a genetic condition called Long QT Syndrome. A long battle for his life ensued, which sadly came to an end on Monday.
California native Del Rosario was known to most fans as, simply, a very solid MMA fighter, with particularly adept striking which netted him a WBC Muay Thai title prior to his UFC run. His fights were entertaining, hard-hitting affairs.
But two videos surfaced recently which may serve to shed a bit of light on the soul of the man who was behind those fights.
Last week a tribute video was posted of Del Rosario, with footage from Their Fight Is Our Fight: a 2009 fundraiser for victims of a typhoon in the Philippines. Del Rosario can be seen, joined by his fellow Filipino-American MMA standouts Brandon Vera and Mark Muñoz, offering martial arts instruction to attendees — and some words of inspiration.
I got the opportunity to travel around the world this year for my fights. You see how lucky we are here in the States, how much we have… I think this is the least we can do, in appreciation for what we have. Anything we can do to help out people less fortunate, we should do that.
Last year, Del Rosario was featured in a video interview with Fight! Magazine, where he spent time with his family and offered detail on the 2011 car accident which kept him out of action for nearly a year. He also described a duty to use his fame to help others:
“I have this rare opportunity that a lot of people don’t have, to fight in front of thousands for the UFC and really make a name for myself and use that as momentum to help others. For me, I feel like I’m in position that, not only can I help myself to be a successful fighter, but if I do that, I can help a lot of other people after the fact.”
There are many ways to remember Del Rosario. Maybe, assist relief efforts in the Philippines, which suffered another terrible typhoon last month. In fact, organizers of “Their Fight Is Our Fight” are planning a similar event next month, with Vera and Muñoz participating again. You can check out their Facebook page, or give directly to your favorite international charity.
Or maybe — as Del Rosario says in the Fight! Magazine interview above, just “wake up every morning and love life.”
RIP Shane Del Rosario, 1983-2013.