Heavyweight Justin Willis Released By UFC

Justin Willis released
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UFC heavyweight contender Justin Willis has been released by the Las Vegas-based promotion.

A company official confirmed the news to TSN on Friday, which was later backed up by ESPN sources. Willis only recently signed a new contract that had three fights left.

However, ESPN reports the reason for the release was that the two sides could not agree to a date for his next fight. TSN added that “Big Pretty” turned down a fight with Walt Harris at UFC San Antonio on July 20 because he was unsure if he could make the 266-pound weight limit:

“He had a chance to fight me on July 20, they offered him the contract and he told them he couldn’t make weight in two months,” Harris told Adam Hunter on the MMA Roasted Podcast on Thursday. “And so they cut him. He’s a coward. He’s all talk, no game.

“If he couldn’t make weight in two months, he’s got to be walking around now at close to 350 pounds. If that’s the case, it’s not healthy at all. We’re supposed to be the toughest guys on earth, so turning down fights in my opinion is never an option.”

Willis went 5-1 in the UFC with his biggest win coming in December when he out-pointed Mark Hunt.

His most recent outing was a decision loss to Curtis Blaydes in March. The build-up to that fight involved a lot of trash talk, with Blaydes claiming Willis taunted his father:

“Obviously I’m happy he’s no longer a part of the company,” Blaydes told TSN on Friday. “I don’t think that he had the skills or character to be a representative of this sport.”