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|Born||Jeffrey Ryan Roufus|
19 February 1970
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States
|Height||6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)|
|Weight||235 lb (107 kg; 16.8 st)|
|Style||Kickboxing, Muay Thai, Taekwondo, Karate, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu|
|Fighting out of||Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States|
|Rank||4th degree black belt in Roufusport Kickboxing|
3rd degree black belt in Taekwondo
Purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu
|Years active||1988–2001 (Kickboxing)|
|Notable relatives||Rick Roufus, brother|
|Notable students||Alan Belcher, Stephan Bonnar, Matt Mitrione, Anthony Pettis, Jens Pulver, Ben Rothwell, Ben Askren, Erik Koch, CM Punk, Tyron Woodley|
Jeffrey Ryan "Duke" Roufus (born February 19, 1970) is an American former kickboxer and head coach of the Roufusport competition team based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States. He is a well-known striking coach in North America.
His professional kickboxing career saw him collect a number of titles including the W.K.A. North American Super Heavyweight Championship, W.A.K.O. World Super Heavyweight Championship, W.K.B.A. World Super Heavyweight Championship and the K.I.C.K. World Super Heavyweight Championship during the 1990s.
Roufus won the IKF International Kickboxing Federation Pro Muay Thai Rules World Super Heavyweight Title on December 4, 1998 in Milwaukee Wisconsin, over Hiriwa TeRangi of New Zealand by unanimous decision 50-43 on all three judges' cards.
On March 19, 1999, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in his only defense of the title, Roufus quickly defeated Australia's WKA World Champion Grant Barker with a combination of strikes which included a leg kick, 2 knees to Barker's head and finished with a high head kick, Roufus only took 39 seconds to knockout the Australian in the opening round of the scheduled 5 round Muay Thai bout.
Roufus voluntarily vacated his Super Heavyweight Title to move down to the Heavyweight Muay Thai Division and soon after, retired. However, at the end of October, 2000, Roufus announced he would come out of retirement to fight in the K-1 USA tournament. He lost his second round bout in the May, 2001 K-1 USA tournament and his opening round bout in the August, 2001 K-1 USA tournament.
On December 11, 2002, Roufus made his retirement official. His final kickboxing record was 36-8-1/26 and in pro boxing he was 2-0/1.
On two further occasions Roufus has come out of retirement to fight in the ring to record wins against Sinisa "Thunderman" Andrijasevic on June 3, 2005 and Eduardo Maiorino on May 25, 2007.
Following his retirement, he has become a well-known trainer, working with many UFC/WEC MMA fighters including former UFC Lightweight Champion Anthony Pettis, Alan Belcher, Pat Barry, Erik Koch, Ben Rothwell, Matt Mitrione and former U.S. Olympian and former Bellator World Champion Ben Askren. Other former students include head coach of Church Street Boxing gym in NYC Jason Strout, former UFC Lightweight Champion Jens Pulver and The Ultimate Fighter Season One star Stephan Bonnar.
Duke Roufus and business partner Scott Joffe operate Roufusport Martial Arts Academy in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Roufus has also served as color commentator for K-1 on ESPN2 and has appeared on TSN in Canada, Walker Texas Ranger and Fox's Best Damn Sport's Show Period. In January 2003, he was named one of Milwaukee Magazine's "50 People You Should Know."
Controversy over the death of Dennis Munson Jr.
On 28 March 2014, Dennis Munson Jr., an amateur kickboxer from Roufus' gym, Roufusport, died after taking part in a bout promoted by Roufus. Munson's recorded cause of death by the Milwaukee County medical examiner was head trauma. Dehydration caused by the fighter cutting weight up to and including the day of the fight, could well have been a contributing factor. The bout took place in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where amateur kickboxers are not required to wear protective headgear.
Munson's two cornermen were his coaches from the Roufusport gym, and as the event promoter, Roufus appointed the ringside doctor, referee and other officials. It was Munson's first fight.
Video footage of the bout circulated widely. After Munson's death, Roufus was publicly criticised by experts in the sport for his promotional practices, and the decisions and actions of the officials and Munson's cornermen at the bout; and further criticised by several past students and past Roufousport staff for his treatment of students, behaviour and management style at Roufusport gym. The high injury rate of fighters training at the Roufusport gym also came under close scrutiny.
Honors and titles
- 1998 I.K.F. World Super Heavyweight Champion
- 1997 K.I.C.K. World Super Heavyweight Champion
- 1996 W.K.B.A. World Super Heavyweight Champion
- 1995 W.A.K.O. World Super Heavyweight Champion
- 1995 I.S.K.A. World Super Heavyweight champion
- 1995 W.K.A. World Super Heavyweight champion
- 1993 W.K.A. North American Super Heavyweight Champion
- 1991 W.A.K.O. World Championships in London, UK +84 kg (Light-Contact)
36 wins (26 KO's), 8 losses, 1 draw
Legend: Win Loss Draw/no contest
- "NSAC report of K-1 World Grand Prix 2001 in Las Vegas" (PDF). Boxing.nv.gov. Retrieved 3 November 2014.
- Dale De Souza. "Duke Roufus, the Roufusport Fight Club and the Power of Quality over Quantity". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 3 November 2014.
- "Duke Roufus: MMA's Busiest Man in Milwaukee". UFC. Retrieved 3 November 2014.
- Alireza Fadaie. "Exclusive Interview With Duke Roufus". Bleacher Report. Retrieved 3 November 2014.
- John Diedrich. "Death in the Ring - Watchdog Report - Milwaukee kickboxer Dennis Munson Jr.'s death follows cascade of errors by fight officials". jsonline.com.
- "Video: Experts Weigh In on Death of Amateur Kickboxer". mmaweekly.com.
- Michael Hutchinson. "Injury Rates Amongst Major MMA Fight Camps". Last Word On Sports.