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TUF 10’s Zak Jensen Faces Wrongful Death Lawsuit

Zak JensenThe Stillwater Gazette has reported that the family of the late Josh Gunderson filed a wrongful death lawsuit against The Ultimate Fighter 10 cast member Zak Jensen in a Washington County Court late Thursday, along with a man by the name of Jason Jones and Sterling Systems, which is owned by Jones. All of which have been accused of negligence in Gunderson’s death.

The lawsuit was formally filed by Elizabeth Gunderson Koll, mother to the deceased Josh Gunderson on his behalf.

According to published reports, Gunderson died in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico during a March vacation along with Jensen and a female by the name of Ashley Jones. Apparently Jensen was working for the Jones family as a bodyguard.

While details surrounding exactly what happened that fateful day in Mexico are still coming to the surface, below is an account of what went on by the Stillwater Gazette:

A statement included with the court documents offers the first accounts of what happened prior to Gunderson’s death.

Concierge Ma de Lourdes Becerra Perez said she got involved when she heard a woman talking loudly on the phone, saying “There is nothing I can do, he is not breathing.” She then saw Jensen run down the stairs in a bloody white shirt.

Ashley Jones was trying to close her suitcase and talking on her cell phone when Perez arrived in the room. She said, “I’m going to the airport now,” and Jensen added that “Her parents are trying to get a flight to go back home,” Perez said.

When Perez asked what happened, Jensen told her he woke up to Jones’ screaming, “Get off of me.” He said he got up and saw Josh on top of her and attacking her. Jensen told Perez he took Gunderson away from her but had to defend himself when Gunderson turned on him.

Gunderson walked toward the bathroom and Jensen went to console Jones, Perez recalled Jensen saying. They then heard a “strong noise” in the bathroom. Jensen walked into the bathroom and found Gunderson.

Perez said his head was on the edge of the shower and his right leg was elevated and in the toilet when she saw him.

Jensen began crying and saying the he just defended himself, Perez recalled. He then said that he tried to give him mouth to mouth and CPR.

Perez said she had to tell the bell boy to stop Jones when she saw her walking fast toward the lobby. She later disappeared after she allegedly told a security employee that she had to make a phone call.

Jensen remained in the room “pulling his hair and crying,” said Perez, who recalled him saying, “He shouldn’t be with her … He was liking her but she didn’t.”

“I’m speaking for my son,” said Elizabeth Gunderson Koll. “I just don’t know how these people can live with themselves and go on with their lives and not speak to us.”

Jensen’s management was not immediately available for comment. Stay tuned to FiveOuncesofPain as we keep you up to date on this still developing story.

  • helterskelter says:

    Holy S**T! This explains a lot about how passive Jensen was during the show. It could have either been because he was scared he would flip out and hurt someone again, didn’t want to come off as aggressive after what happened, or more likely, he was completely freaked out because he just killed some kid. Either way, its all just speculation but I’m looking forward to the truth coming out. I really hope this was a case of self defense.

    Well-Done. Thumb up 25 Thumb down 2

  • Makington says:

    I’m starting to hope nobody wins the bet as to which day Jensen will snap because if he does, this might mean the end for one of the cast mates, probably Wes Sims.

    I don’t know if I’m reading this right, but apparently the guy started attacking Zak, who defended himself. So the guy walked into the washroom and only then did he realize that Zak had killed him while he was defending himself, so he decided to position himself in both the shower and toilet? That doesn’t seem like the right story to me.

    I find the strangest thing is why the UFC would take him on the show knowing very well that he might have killed someone. Not only is that beyond terrible press, putting a potential murderer on the show could have obvious consequences, like say, he murders someone. It’s the same thing with Rob Emerson. Why would they want someone on the show who had jail time because he viciously beats random civilians, and video tapes himself doing it?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 12

  • STLfightfan says:

    Taking this at face-value, it looks like Zak was defending the girl and himself, and therefore he is not responisible for Mr. Gunderson’s death.
    SInce there were no criminal charges filed, this must be the conclusion that the local police came to as well.
    All the same, what a horrible to thing to have to live with. Zak seems like an honestly nice guy compared to some of the other savages on the show. I wish him good luck, and I also wish for serenity and solace for the Gunderson family.

    Well-Done. Thumb up 30 Thumb down 6

  • HonorableAggression says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    Weak-Sauce. Thumb up 6 Thumb down 17

  • 27jride says:

    This is VERY vague and lures us all into speculation while we have absolutely no knowledge of the facts. We all have to be careful because I had made a mental judgement based on the VERY flimsy, hearsay story and fortunately, after reading everyone else’s comments, I realized I truly had no clue what happened and should just wait for more information before I cast judgement. I hope everyone else thinks about that before convicting or dismissing the guy based on this story. TONS of questions remain here!

    Well-Done. Thumb up 22 Thumb down 0

  • Makington says:

    Coming from a guy with a pretty extensive law background, that story really doesn’t add up. He does genuinely seem like a nice guy on the show, and I honestly hope he didn’t actually do it. But Zak is trying to say he beat the guy up (quite probably justified self defense) but afterwards the guy went to the washroom, and slipped, cracking his head with his leg falling in the toilet. If you try to say that’s exactly what happened, the defense will make short work of you. I’m not trying to make a joke about him, but what he’s saying is ridiculous. It is absolutely never a good idea to take someone at face value when they’re in a situation like this. Otherwise there would be no reason for courts.

    Also thinking he is innocent because he is nice is another problem people make. I mean, Charles Manson would seem like the nicest guy to his followers, even though he had a very sadistic agenda on the side. Also the Holmoka case in Ontario, Canada was so hard for them to believe that Holmoka did the things he was accused of because he had such a front he put up in public. When people weren’t watching, he did some unspeakable things.

    I hope we see more light on this situation, because I sincerely hope that Zak didn’t lose his cool and make a terrible mistake. I really want to see things working out, but he has some obvious flaws in this statement.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 6

  • redwire says:


    FYI Holmoka was the girlfriend (wife?). Bernardo was the guy. And yes, they both seemed like nice, normal and good-looking folks when people were watching (don’t laugh – studies have shown that being good-looking can help you get away with a lot).

    I have lots of opinions regarding what should be done with those two, but I don’t want to highjack this thread.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

  • egad81 says:

    So this all happened before the TUF show?

    If that is the case I would be highly upset for making this guy look really bad. Saying he is going to freak out all the time. What a shame.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  • Makington says:

    You are correct redwire, Homolka was the slang term we used in my college to refer to the case itself, but yeah, Homolka was his wife who turned him in. Interesting tidbit, she now has a new family in a different country, complete with a daughter that she birthed.

    But on track, he can’t really complain for his image being ruined, cause hey, he was at the very least partially responsible for one man dying. I say this whole story is sketchy as hell so far, so I will reserve any comments and judgements until we get a better insight into the story, so that we can all make proper calls without jumping to conclusions.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  • krock says:

    no where does it say this happened before tuf. so im guessin it could have happened after it was done taping. but thats some tough stuff to go through

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  • Makington says:

    I took it upon myself to look it up, it happened during Spring Break last year, a few months before filming started.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  • bigbadjohn says:

    interesting. but as many of you have said, the information given is much too vague to develop any kind of opinion on the situation or anyone involved.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  • MontrealMMA says:

    Well if the MMA thing doesn’t work out for him it’s good to see he’s got the whole murderous rage thing to fall back on.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 15

  • CMT says:

    I thought mouth to mouth was essentially the same thing as CPR. Not enough info to make a clean judgement call on. The facts must not add up or the family would not be trying for a wrongful death lawsuit. Or they think he has all this money from being on TV. Either way, bad situation.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0


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