Justin Willis and Tai Tuivasa have both addressed the UFC release of Justin Willis, and now so is a pivotal man behind the scenes of this ordeal, manager of Justin Willis, Abraham Kawa, who pulled back the curtain to what led to Willis’s release, with most of the details being related to the aftermath of the release and what, and whom, the Willis camp wanted next:
“I think it has a lot to do with a lot of just misunderstandings with what was going on, but it’s OK – it’s not a bad thing,” Kawa told MMA Junkie. “The second he got released, we got called up, ‘Hey is it true? Is there any way we can get him on our next fight card?’ The initial response to that is, ‘Well, it’s not that Justin is dead set on fighting for the UFC; I think it’s just that Justin really, really wants to fight Tai. He doesn’t mind taking a one-fight deal. Just give me Tai, and I’ll walk away happy.
“I think if Tai’s up for the fight, I’m sure it’ll be an easy fight to make,” Kawa continued. “At this point, there’s enough heat behind it for it to happen.”
If the UFC were to bring Justin Willis back into the UFC fold, that would not be the first time the promotion has walked back walking papers. Last year, after releasing Yair Rodriguez for also turning down a fight, they re-signed him soon afterwards with the expectation that he would be facing Zabit Magomedsharipov, so could the same thing happen with Justin Willis for a potential grudge match against Tai Tuivasa?
“I would hope so,” Kawa said. “My gut says yes, but I’ve seen stranger things happen where it ends up being a no, and if that’s the case, we’re prepared to accept that just the same.”
“I’d say the timing for a Tai vs. Justin fight is now,” Kawa said. “I don’t know if this fight makes sense in eight months, I think it makes sense in the next three, four months. If you announce another Tai fight between now and then, then everyone will be like, ‘Why didn’t you fight Justin?’ I think it puts a lot of pressure on Tai to accept that fight.”
Would you like to see Justin Willis return to the UFC to fight Tai Tuivasa?