DALLAS, TX, August 20, 2013 – William Campuzano (MMA 12-4; Ranked #16 Fightmatrix, #10 Sherdog, #10/11 ESPN) was the reigning flyweight champion of Legacy Fighting Championship until August 19th 2013. Campuzano and Legacy’s matchmakers could not see eye-to-eye on a suitable opponent for the former WEC and UFC veteran and the fighter and promotion have parted ways amidst some controversy. On August 19th Legacy FC released a statement via their website claiming that Campuzano had vacated his title.
Although both Legacy FC and Will Campuzano agree that they should move forward in different directions, Campuzano is contesting the truth of Legacy’s statement regarding his vacating the flyweight belt before parting ways with the Texas-based promotion. Campuzano claims to have never vacated the Flyweight belt and that Legacy’s matchmakers stripped him of the title after failing to find him suitable competition.
Collin Cantrell, Legacy FC’s matchmaker, noted, “Our goal as an organization is to have the best flyweight in the world as our champion. As we work toward this goal, it is imperative that our champion is willing to defend the title against the top-rated fighters available within our organization. If our champion is unwilling to fight the top contender, then we have no choice but to reset the division and crown a new champion.”
Campuzano took to social media to voice his displeasure and tell his fans that Legacy’s statement had “caught him by surprise” and that “the truth would come out.” Mick Maynard, Legacy FC’s owner and president, explained his promotion’s actions via social media by stating, “Will’s contract was up, we offered him a fight but he declined and told us he wanted to fight elsewhere. We have matching rights but money hadn’t even been talked about and we are not going to pursue that option. We offered the highest ranked flyweight in the world not currently signed to another org. and he declined. I feel we handled it professionally and offered Will the opportunity to become our champion and hopefully have a chance to go to the UFC. From what I understand not only did he become our champ but the UFC made him an offer also. We can’t force someone to fight. Will is one of the best fighters in the world and I hope the best for him. I think we treated him very well and in the end it was really his decision.”
We reached out to Will Campuzano, who claims that Legacy FC’s statement is not true. Campuzano expressed frustration, via phone conversation, noting that the split was because the promotion wasn’t invested in him as their champion and instead his “name recognition was being used to build the careers of young prospects like Alan Nascimento and Jimmy Flick.” When asked for his version of the events Campuzano made the following statement via email:
“I did not give away my belt… It was taken from me. After my last Legacy Fighting Championship (LFC) title defense [April 12, 2013] I was left with the question, “What’s next?” or better yet” who is next?” At this point in time I’m on a four-fight win streak with all of my last three opponents being undefeated flyweight prospects (Josh Sampo, Jimmy Flick, Alan Nascimiento). They are all from different regions such as the Midwest, South and Brazil. A simple task you would think and yet five months down the road I still don’t have a fight. I honestly don’t know why when I have practically put together some great match ups on my own accord for Collin Cantrell (Legacy FC’s Match Maker) on a silver platter. I won’t speculate on things I don’t know but I will give you guys the facts.
On May 7, 2013 I reached out to Collin Cantrell and I gave him two names I’d be very interested in fighting: Chad Robochaux (19-2-0), Jeff Curran (34-16-0). Both have had multiple stints in high profile organizations. More importantly both fighters bring name recognition in what still is a young under developed weight class known as “flyweight”. On May 22, 2013 Chad Robochaux and I verbally agree to fight. June 4, 2013 Collin Cantrell messages me and simply says “Robo is out”. There was no explanation.
He then asks me if I would be interested in fighting on their August show which I replied “I’ll pass. My right hand is still out of commission”. It is an injury that occurred during my last title defense which was taking a whole lot longer to heal than I anticipated. So we decided October would be a good date for a return and since the show was in Allen, TX it couldn’t have worked out better.
It’s July now and I still don’t have a matchup. So, then I go ahead and I start a conversation with Jeff Curran. He’s very enthusiastic about it and gives me the green light. July 13, 2013 I call Collin Cantrell and pitch him the match up. He turns it down and says he has an even bigger match up for me. [Damacio Page is dropping to Flyweight]. I won’t lie, I was very intrigued by it. In fact, I really loved the matchup. For those of you who don’t know, Damacio Page handed me my first loss. Yet I’m hesitant because Damacio has never fought at flyweight and at the time he was schedule to fight at a catch weight 130lbs in August. I voiced out my doubts to Collin about Damacio not being able to make it to 125lbs but he was dead set the fight was going to happen.
August 1, 2013 – Damacio doesn’t find a suitable opponent for his August catch weight fight and is pulled off the card. He is now fighting at a catch weight October 11, 2013 for the Legacy main event in Allen, TX. I’m offered a fight against Alp Ozilic (7-0-0) who is a Midwest Prospect.
At this point I’m confused as to why Legacy Fighting Championship isn’t bringing me the biggest name/matchup they can get? I expressed to Collin Cantrell that maybe he can help me find the big name fight I want even if it’s not through Legacy. He declines of course and maybe because I reached out too far.
As it is, I’m a free agent right now and in talks with a few managers and fight promotions. Since the word is out, last Monday Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC) did in fact make me an offer but it was a short notice fight which I declined because I’ve only had a week of my right hand being healed for contact training (hitting Mitts, bag work, sparring etc.) Lack of preparation makes people look like fools and I’ve been a fool before.
I know what I want and I know what I deserve. I am the number one flyweight outside of the UFC and I only wish Legacy Fighting treated me like so.
Vacate: v. To cease to occupy or hold; give up.
Strip: v. To take away or remove.”
529529_10151548910359293_1937060697_nWe asked Mick Maynard to respond to Campuzano’s claims;
“I would say the highest ranking flyweight in the world available IS the biggest name/matchup [and] we offered it. He declined and is supposedly fighting some fella in Japan [Hideo Tokoro] ranked number 50 or something.” Maynard also noted “We offered Alp [Alp