News this week coming out of Legacy FC is that flyweight champion, Will Campuzano, has vacated his title and parted ways with the organisation.
It was announced the former UFC and WEC fighter was no longer champion via a statement on the Legacy website from matchmaker, Collin Cantrell, which said: “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.”
In a statement released to txmma.com Campuzano blamed the promotions inability to find him an opponent as the reason why both parties could not see eye to eye. According to the statement, Campuzano presented Cantrell with two possible title defences in Chad Robochaux (19-2-0) and Jeff Curran (34-16-0). He said:
“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”.
“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 on a silver platter.”
“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 match up. 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 scheduled 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.”
Despite claims from Campzano that Legacy FC failed to present him with a fight for five months, Legacy FC had in fact offered him a fight against Turkish flyweight, Alptekin Özkiliç, as reported by H4TV.
Legacy FC offered Özkiliç a title shot back in May, which Campuzano declined, claiming he wanted big name fights.
Speaking to H4TV, Özkiliç said: “After my win on May 31st, Legacy owner Mick Maynard came up to me right after the fight and said I’m the next in line.
“I told them I would like to fight in August, thinking that Campuzano didn’t want to wait longer anyway. I think he hasn’t fought in a long time.
“Later, Campuzano said he wanted to fight me in October on Twitter. We went back and forth on Twitter about it because I didn’t want to wait that long. So it is not true that he wasn’t offered a fight.”
The twitter conversation Özkiliç refers to would suggest the Campuzano was indeed offered a fight despite his claims that he wasn’t.
When asked about Campuzano’s request to fight either Curran or Robochaux instead of the best fighter possible, Özkiliç said: “I don’t really know what his intentions were but you shouldn’t be able to pick your opponents when you are the champion.
“Your boss tells you to fight this guy and you say no? I mean why would you want to fight Jeff Curran? He is old and he is not gonna make another run. And he just retired as we all know.
“I do feel like he disrespected me but hey I could care less what he thinks. It’s obvious that I was the highest ranked guy he could fight. How can you deny that? I’m actually higher ranked than him too!”
With Campuzano claiming that he was only offered a fight with Özkiliç on August 1st it appears that Campuzano was hesitant to commit to a fight with the Turk. Özkiliç said: “I never said anything disrespectful to him.
“He actually started it by saying ‘apparently if you beat (Antonio) Banuelos, you’re a top ten flyweight according to fighmatrix’. As a response to that all I said was if you’re not happy that I’m ranked higher than you well they offered you a fight against me. Let’s settle this like men.”
The objective now for Legacy FC will be to crown a new flyweight champion and put on the best fights possible for fight fans. H4TV’s Alptekin Özkiliç is set to be one of the fighters in the frame to make the title his own. He noted: “I spoke to Mick Maynard and he said I’m still the number one contender and looking for an opponent for me.
“Legacy has a great flyweight division and I’m really excited to challenge myself. I’m excited. I appreciate Mick Maynard and Legacy for keeping their word and still considering me one of their best.”
Tune into H4TV for the latest news and who Alptekin Özkiliç will face for the vacant Legacy FC flyweight title.