Justin Willis has reportedly been released by the UFC, as published earlier today (May 24, 2019) by TSN. The release comes as a result of failed fight negotiations.
UFC heavyweight Walt Harris will be competing at UFC San Antonio on July 20 against Aleksei Oleinik, but the original opponent the promotion had lined up for him was Justin Willis, who is coming off a lopsided pouncing at the hands of Curtis Blaydes at UFC Nashville two months ago. Willis was unable to make the required weight in two months, however, and that marked the demise of his UFC career. Walt Harris confirmed that this was the matchup the promotion offered in a recent interview (via TSN):
“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. “And so they cut him. He’s a coward. He’s all talk, no game.”
It’s quite apparent that the UFC agreed with Harris’s assessment of “Big Pretty” and doled out a “big blow” to KO the UFC career of the 31-year-old. There is nothing pretty about this UFC exit, only an awkward and ugly fall for a man who constantly talked about one day going down as the greatest fighter of all time. Instead, he will go down as the second fighter known to be Yaired in UFC history. All hope may not be lost for Willis, though. Yair Rodriguez, who was also released las year for turning down a fight, was able to get back in the promotion’s good graces and rejoin the roster in a matter of weeks. Time will tell if Willis is able or willing to do the same.
What’s your take on Justin Willis’s abrupt UFC release?