Justin Willis Explains Controversial Release From UFC

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Justin Willis looks to be done with the UFC as things currently stand. The Las Vegas-based promotion released the heavyweight last month after what Willis initially labeled a “miscommunication.”

Willis joined “The Ariel Helwani MMA Show” today (Mon. June 17, 2019) to explain his side of the situation. There have been conflicting stories as to whether or not Willis is still, in fact, a member of the UFC roster. When asked why he was cut from the UFC, Willis named three key reasons:

“What happened was, I only wanted one fight,” Willis said.” And that fight was Tai Tuivasa. That’s one reason. Two reason is, I wanted to get my weight under control. I wanted to come in a lot more fitter, a lot more quicker, a lot more everything. That’s number two.

“Number three, is, I wanted a chance to actually go through a camp with “DC” [Daniel Cormier]. He fights August 14. So, my date that they gave me, originally – hey, it’s not about the guys necessarily, it’s about more so of the dates. And the date was August, somewhere around where “DC” fights so I was actually able to go through a full camp with him as well.”

These sound like everyday issues for a mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter. For a promotion to release a fighter on these grounds is certainly a strange circumstance. When asked why he was released instead of trying to work something out, Willis was left just as confused as everyone else:

“We’ll be political here, I don’t know,” Willis said before laughing hysterically.

Currently, Willis is putting things in the hands of his management and the UFC. Both sides seem to be having discussions regarding the heavyweight’s status, so for now, “Big Pretty” will sit back and let things sort themselves out:

“Honestly, I don’t know what’s going on right now,” Willis admitted. “That’s between them. My management, we have some stuff working out right now, and that’s between the UFC and my management, so I’m letting them take control of all that stuff.”