UFC 218's Justin Willis dares heavyweight division to go on 'suicide mission' and call him out

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DETROIT – Justin Willis is talking a big game after scoring a massive knockout in his sophomore octagon appearance on Saturday at UFC 218.

Willis (6-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) scored a first-round knockout of Allen Crowder (9-3 MMA, 0-1 UFC) in the opener of the UFC 218 card, which took place at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit and streamed on UFC Fight Pass prior to the remainder of the card on FS1 and pay-per-view.

It was an impressive finish for “Big Pretty,” and now he has his sights on the top the heavyweight division.

“I’m here to take over this division,” Crowder told reporters in a post-fight media scrum, which MMAjunkie attended. “I’m made for this (expletive). It’s time for me to come and reap my rewards one by one.”

Although Willis believes he belongs at the top of the weight class, he refuses to call anyone out. He said fighters who call others out are the ones looking to move up, and in his mind, he’s already the best.

“I’m the elite fighter,” Willis said. “I am the elite fighter in the heavyweight division. I have teammates (like UFC champ Daniel Cormier) that are elite, they’ll tell you the same thing. But now it’s just coming here and proving it to the world piece-by-piece, step by step. Crowder was the second step.

“The guy who gets paid is the guy who gets called out,” he continued. “The people will take the suicide mission and come and challenge me and they’ll get decapitated as well.”

Willis won’t call other fighters out, but he does have some thoughts on the top contenders in the weight class, including Francis Ngannou and Alistair Overeem, who co-headlined UFC 218.

“They can kiss my (expletive) ass, and they can get it next if they want to call me out,” Willis said. “When you’re calling people out you’re not making the money. I’m the guy the people will be chasing down.”

For complete coverage of UFC 218, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

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UFC 218 results: Justin Willis levels Allen Crowder for first-round knockout

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Justin Willis made short work of Allen Crowder with his left hook, battering the UFC newcomer until a shot finished him off in the first round.

Crowder (7-3 MMA, 0-1 UFC) spilled to the canvas at the 2:33 mark of the opening frame, bringing Willis (6-1 MMA, 2-0 UFC) his first knockout win in the octagon.

The heavyweight bout opened up the preliminary card of today’s UFC 218 event at the new Little Caesars Arena in downtown Detroit. It streamed on UFC Fight Pass ahead of additional prelims on FS1 and a main card on pay-per-view.

Crowder hoped to take away Willis’ power base with leg kicks, but Willis repeatedly caught his legs and repaid the effort with quick combinations. Just one minute in, Crowder’s face was reddened from the counters.

Willis slowly closed in when he discovered Crowder’s punches were not a significant threat. Then he threw a left hook off an exchange, and Crowder backpedaled to the cage, obviously hurt.

Crowder tried to cover up, but Willis caught him flush with a left hook, and the fight was quickly called off with the concussive shot.

Willis now owns a two-fight UFC winning streak and hasn’t seen defeat in six fights, while Crowder, a veteran of “Dana White’s Contender Series,” sees a four-fight streak snapped.

Up-to-the-minute UFC 218 results include:

  • Justin Willis def. Allen Crowder via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 2:33

For complete coverage of UFC 218, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

(MMAjunkie’s Matt Erickson and Mike Bohn contributed to this report on site in Detroit.)

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Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 113 results: Justin Willis outworks fellow newcomer James Mulheron

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With his quick left hand and his opportunistic approach to wrestling, Justin Willis snatched a win over the hard-charging James Mulheron.

But what Willis (5-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) couldn’t do was put Mulheron (11-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC) away, settling instead for a unanimous decision victory with scores of 30-27 across the board.

The heavyweight bout opened up the main card of today’s UFC Fight Night 113 event at SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland. It aired on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

The two stocky heavyweights wasted little time meeting each other in the center of the cage and trading blows, but it was the quicker Willis who seemed to get the better of the exchanges right away. His counter left hand came from all angles, hammering Mulheron throughout the fight, but never really hurting the hard-headed Mulheron at any point in the fight.

What did seem to wear on Mulheron was Willis’ grappling. His takedown attempts were relatively few, but when Mulheron provided openings off some of his more optimistic striking attacks, Willis seized the opportunity to take him down and put his weight to work on top of Mulheron.

With Mulheron always a step or two behind in the striking exchanges and unable to even the score with his grappling, he had to settle for being constantly in Willis’ face, a strategy that resulted in him eating several hard shots on his way in.

While Mulheron was more than capable of taking that punishment, he wasn’t quite slick enough to deliver much of his own, leaving all three judges to turn in a clean sweep of the scorecards for Willis.

“I think that the first-fight jitters in the UFC is a real thing,” Willis said. “I had to come in here, compose myself and get that ‘W.’ The guy was ready to go and he took a lot of left hands. I’m very, very surprised that he took that many left hands. I dominated every single minute, except there were about 30 seconds where he had me against the cage, but I snapped out of it and I took him down. Now that those jitters are out of the way, it’s time to take on anybody.”

The victory in his UFC debut gives Willis a five-fight winning streak overall in his career. Mulheron’s loss snaps a four-fight winning streak of his own.

Up-to-the-minute UFC Fight Night 113 results include:

For complete coverage of UFC Fight Night 113, check out the UFC Events section of the site.

(MMAjunkie’s Abbey Subhan contributed to this report on site in Glasgow.)

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Fight Night 113 staff picks: Gunnar Nelson 1 of 2 unanimous picks in Scotland

Nelson
vs.
Ponzinibbio
Calderwood
vs.
Calvillo
Felder
vs.
Ray
Janes
vs.
Marshman
Craig
vs.
Rountree
Mulheron
vs.
Willis
MMAjunkie readers’
consensus picks
2017: 66-49
gnelson2017
Nelson
(87%)
calvillo2017
Calvillo
(50.1%)
felder2017
Felder
(54%)
marshman2017
Marshman
(74%)
pcraig2017
Craig
(60%)
mulheron2017
Mulheron
(64%)
Simon Samano
@SJSamano
2017: 75-40
gnelson2017
Nelson
calderwood2017
Calderwood
ray2017
Ray
marshman2017
Marshman
pcraig2017
Craig
mulheron2017
Mulheron
Matt Erickson @MMAjunkieMatt
2017: 73-42
gnelson2017
Nelson
calderwood2017
Calderwood
ray2017
Ray
marshman2017
Marshman
rountree2017
Rountree
justinwillis2017
Willis
Dann Stupp
@DannStupp
2017: 71-44
trophy copy 2015 Champion
gnelson2017
Nelson
calvillo2017
Calvillo
felder2017
Felder
marshman2017
Marshman
rountree2017
Rountree
justinwillis2017
Willis
Brian Garcia
@thegoze
2017: 69-46
gnelson2017
Nelson
calvillo2017
Calvillo
felder2017
Felder
marshman2017
Marshman
rountree2017
Rountree
justinwillis2017
Willis
Ben Fowlkes @BenFowlkesMMA
2017: 69-46
trophy copy 2016 Champion
gnelson2017
Nelson
calderwood2017
Calderwood
ray2017
Ray
marshman2017
Marshman
pcraig2017
Craig
justinwillis2017
Willis
Steven Marrocco @MMAjunkieSteven
2017: 69-46
gnelson2017
Nelson
calvillo2017
Calvillo
ray2017
Ray
marshman2017
Marshman
pcraig2017
Craig
justinwillis2017
Willis
Fernanda Prates @nandaprates_
2017: 67-48
gnelson2017
Nelson
calvillo2017
Calvillo
ray2017
Ray
marshman2017
Marshman
pcraig2017
Craig
justinwillis2017
Willis
Mike Bohn @MikeBohnMMA
2017: 59-46
trophy copy 2014 Champion
gnelson2017
Nelson
calderwood2017
Calderwood
felder2017
Felder
marshman2017
Marshman
pcraig2017
Craig
justinwillis2017
Willis
George Garcia @MMAjunkieGeorge
2017: 64-51
gnelson2017
Nelson
calvillo2017
Calvillo
ray2017
Ray
marshman2017
Marshman
rountree2017
Rountree
justinwillis2017
Willis
John Morgan @MMAjunkieJohn
2017: 62-53
gnelson2017
Nelson
calvillo2017
Calvillo
ray2017
Ray
marshman2017
Marshman
rountree2017
Rountree
justinwillis2017
Willis

The UFC is back in Scotland for a rare Sunday show this week.

UFC Fight Night 113 takes place Sunday at SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland. The card airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

(Click here to open a PDF of the staff picks grid in a separate window.)

In the main event, Iceland’s Gunnar Nelson (16-2-1 MMA, 7-2 UFC) takes on Brazilian Santiago Ponzinibbio (24-3 MMA, 6-2 UFC) in a welterweight bout. Nelson is just a mild favorite at around -160, but he is a unanimous pick from our 10 MMAjunkie editors, writers and radio hosts.

In the co-main event, Scotland’s own Joanne Calderwood (11-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC) meets unbeaten Team Alpha Male product Cynthia Calvillo (5-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC) in a women’s strawweight fight. Calvillo is more than a 2-1 favorite, but she only has a 6-4 edge in the picks.

Also on the main card, Paul Felder (13-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC) takes on Stevie Ray (21-6 MMA, 5-1 UFC) at lightweight. Ray will be fighting in front of his home Scotland crowd and is a 7-3 pick from our staff members. Jack Marshman (21-6 MMA, 1-1 UFC) joins Nelson as the other unanimous pick on the card for his middleweight fight against Ryan Janes (9-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC).

It’s a dead-even 5-5 split between Paul Craig (9-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) and Khalil Rountree (5-2 MMA, 1-2 UFC) in their light heavyweight bout. And despite being the underdog, Justin Willis (4-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) has a 9-1 edge in the picks against fellow UFC heavyweight newcomer James Mulheron (11-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC).

In the MMAjunkie reader consensus picks, Nelson, Calvillo, Felder, Marshman, Craig and Mulheron are the choices.

Check out all the picks above.

For more on UFC Fight Night 113, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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MMAjunkie reader predictions: Make your picks for UFC Fight Night 113 in Scotland

We want your predictions for Sunday’s UFC Fight Night 113 event in Scotland.

Our staff picks feature includes the consensus picks from MMAjunkie readers. Simply cast your vote for each bout below, and we’ll use the official tallies that are registered by Thursday at noon ET (9 a.m. PT).

Those MMAjunkie MMA reader consensus picks will be part of the UFC Fight Night 113 staff picks we release on Friday ahead of the event. UFC Fight Night 113 takes place July 16, a Sunday, at SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland. The card airs on FS1 following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

* * * *

Gunnar Nelson vs. Santiago Ponzinibbio

Records: Gunnar Nelson (16-2-1 MMA, 7-2 UFC), Santiago Ponzinibbio (24-3 MMA, 6-2 UFC)
Past five: Nelson 3-2, Ponzinibbio 4-1
Division: Welterweight
Rankings: Nelson honorable mention
Odds (as of 7/10/17): Nelson -200, Ponzinibbio +160

Take Our Poll
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Joanne Calderwood vs. Cynthia Calvillo

Records: Joanne Calderwood (11-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC), Cynthia Calvillo (5-0 MMA, 2-0 UFC)
Past five: Calderwood 3-2, Calvillo 5-0
Division: Women’s strawweight
Rankings: Calderwood No. 12
Odds (as of 7/10/17): N/A

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Paul Felder vs. Stevie Ray

Records: Paul Felder (13-3 MMA, 5-3 UFC), Stevie Ray (21-6 MMA, 5-1 UFC)
Past five: Felder 3-2, Ray 4-1
Division: Lightweight
Rankings: None
Odds (as of 7/10/17): N/A

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Ryan Janes vs. Jack Marshman

Records: Ryan Janes (9-2 MMA, 1-1 UFC), Jack Marshman (21-6 MMA, 1-1 UFC)
Past five: Janes 4-1, Marshman 4-1
Division: Middleweight
Rankings: None
Odds (as of 7/10/17): N/A

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Paul Craig vs. Khalil Rountree

Records: Paul Craig (9-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC), Khalil Rountree (5-2 MMA, 1-2 UFC)
Past five: Craig 4-1, Rountree 3-2
Division: Light heavyweight
Rankings: None
Odds (as of 7/10/17): N/A

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James Mulheron vs. Justin Willis

Records: James Mulheron (11-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC), Justin Willis (4-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC)
Past five: Mulheron 4-1, Willis 4-1
Division: Heavyweight
Rankings: None
Odds (as of 7/10/17): N/A

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For more on UFC Fight Night 113, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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