Chris Gutierrez praises coach Marc Montoya for making UFC 281 appearance amid cancer battle


Chris Gutierrez experienced the highest of highs at UFC 281 after a receiving some terrible news.

Ahead of his fight with Frankie Edgar this past Saturday, Gutierrez found out that his coach Marc Montoya of the Factory X team was diagnosed with cancer of the kidney. The cancer was actually discovered when Montoya went to the hospital to address a staph infection and he shared the story on his social media.

Despite the diagnosis, Montoya traveled to New York City and was in Gutierrez’s corner when the bantamweight contender scored a first-round knockout of UFC legend Frankie Edgar.

Gutierrez shared his appreciation for Montoya during an appearance on The MMA Hour.

“The whole thing with coach Marc, he’s got a staph infection that he goes to the hospital with and they find out he had kidney failure and then when they run a scan they’re like, ‘You’ve got a mass on your kidney,'” Gutierrez said when asked about the emotional roller coaster he experienced in the lead-up to UFC 281. “So there were good things that came with everything that was going on. There are still situations you need to confront .”

According to Gutierrez, Montoya left the hospital on Thursday and was in New York by the Friday before Guttierez’s fight. Gutierrez was surprised by his appearance. He expected that his coach would continue his duties, even though Montoya could have withdrawn from the fight.

” That guy is made from a very different cloth,” Gutierrez stated. “He made a promise and that guy’s just not going to make a promise and not keep it. He said, “I swear I will be there for your fight .’


“He could say anything he wanted, including, “Hey man! I’m going home to spend some time with my family.” And he did. He’s made something very different, as I mentioned. He makes a promise, he’s going to keep it.”

Montoya still needs to be cleared of his staph infection before he can move on to cancer treatment and Gutierrez expects that his coach will undergo surgery to sometime in December. Under Montoya’s tutelage, Gutierrez has emerged as a dark horse in the UFC’s 135-pound division, with four straight wins and a 7-0-1 record in his past eight fights.

Gutierrez admits that he felt a little added pressure having to get a win after everything his Montoya had gone through to make it to fight night.

“Of course,” Gutierrez said. “It’s the reality, it’s the truth. This guy flew in that Friday and for me not to give it my all would just be a disrespect. The guy is giving his all, literally. He’s trying to walk up the stairs with us. For me to just lie down and search for an exit would be disrespectful to him and his family .