Justin Willis
Puts up little resistance in loss
HeavyweightUFC
March 23, 2019
Willis lost to Curtis Blaydes via unanimous decision (27-30, 26-30, 25-30) at UFC Fight Night 148 in Nashville, Tennessee on Saturday.
ANALYSIS
Willis simply never got going Saturday as we saw him stand flat-footed for most of the fight, which allowed Blaydes to easily get his hands on the opponent to attempt takedowns. We've seen Willis methodically work behind a jab and even employ some of his own wrestling to win fights in the UFC, but it looked as though he simply wasn't ready for the pace that Blaydes was willing to put on him. Willis falls to 8-2 in professional MMA as a result of the loss.
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Facing Blaydes at UFC Nashville
HeavyweightUFC
January 20, 2019
Willis will fight against Curtis Blaydes at UFC Nashville on Mar. 23, MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Willis is coming off a lackluster victory over Mark Hunt, though the 31-year-old is still undefeated in the UFC promotion. However, he'll be put to the test in March, as Blaydes has more experience in UFC and held a five-fight win streak before his defeat in November.
Sends Mark Hunt into free agency with victory
HeavyweightUFC
December 1, 2018
Willis defeated Mark Hunt via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Adelaide, Australia.
ANALYSIS
It was a pretty lousy effort from Willis, but he did what he had to do win against a 44-year-old opponent who appeared to be checked out mentally. Willis never had Hunt in any sort of trouble and he was never close to earning a stoppage. In what was a very classy move, Willis immediately turned the floor over to Hunt in his post-fight interview. Of course, Hunt proved us with no update on his future. Willis has nearly zero long term potential despite the fact is he undefeated in the UFC (4-0) and riding an eight-fight winning streak overall.
Draws Mark Hunt in Adelaide
HeavyweightUFC
September 26, 2018
Willis will take on Mark Hunt in a heavyweight matchup at UFC Adelaide on Dec. 2, Ariel Helwani of ESPN reports.
ANALYSIS
Willis sports a perfect 3-0 mark in the UFC, with victories over James Mulheron, Allen Crowder, and most recently, Chase Sherman in April. He emerged from the Sherman victory with a lengthy medical suspension due to ribs and hip injuries, but will be ready to take the cage once again in September. Willis is a 31-year-old riding a seven-fight winning streak, but his experience pales in comparison to that of the 44-year-old Hunt, who has faced some of the best heavyweight the UFC has to offer for decades. It's also potentially the last fight of Hunt's career, so he'll motivated to finish his career with a record over .500 in front of a friendly Australian crowd (Hunt hails from New Zealand). Intangibles aside, Willis has advantages in height, reach and striking volume, but keep in mind a small sample size. It wouldn't be unreasonable to back the younger fighter here, though Hunt will easily be his toughest test in the cage to date.
Dealt medical suspension
HeavyweightUFC
April 24, 2018
Willis has been suspended indefinitely pending x-rays of his ribs and right hip due to injuries sustained in his unanimous-decision victory over Chase Sherman at UFC Atlantic City, MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Willis is certainly gaining steam in the heavyweight division, but will now have to sit a minimum of 30 days before being allowed to compete again. He cracked the UFC heavyweight rankings with this victory, and after resuming training, should get a ranked opponent his next time out.
Remains undefeated in UFC after win Saturday
HeavyweightUFC
April 21, 2018
Willis defeated Chase Sherman via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) at UFC Fight Night on Saturday in Atlantic City.
ANALYSIS
A massive first round and a decent second round masked the fact that Willis did virtually nothing during the second half of the fight. Big Pretty has legitimate power in his hands, but his cardio is questionable and his footwork is non existent. Willis is good enough to beat roster depth guys such as Sherman, but his lack of mobility is going to cost him dearly when the competition level rises. Willis is now 3-0 in the UFC and he should get a slightly better opponent his next time out.