Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) president Dana White has explained his decision to release Elias Theodorou and Justin Willis.
Fight fans were surprised to hear the news of previously ranked middleweight Theodorou’s release. “The Spartan” had his three-fight winning streak snapped by Derek Brunson in a close but unanimous decision loss. Willis was also ranked as a heavyweight. Willis had his eight-fight streak snapped by Curtis Blaydes.
White Talks UFC Releases Of Theodorou & Willis
Speaking to TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter, White detailed the releases of Theodorou and Willis (via BJPenn.com):
“Yeah, well you know there is a ton of guys and girls that fight here. We have like 600 people on the roster. There is always times when we release people and they question. Well, why were these people released? I’m looking for people who can break into the top-five or possibly become world champions. And, I make these decisions. The real question is, ask me how many times I have been wrong? If you look at when I release people and who I’ve released, how many times have I actually been wrong about that? And, you will see people stick around that are on a skid that put on unbelievably exciting fight.
“It is based on your fighting abilities. They might be decent fighters, (but) they are never going to break into the top-five. They are never going to be world champions. I need to free up roster spots for people who will be.”
Do you agree that it was time for the UFC to move on from Elias Theodorou and Justin Willis?