Willis Black is coming off the finest performance of his career, defeating a UFC veteran in Justin Edwards in his most recent outing for WXC, and he’s ready to make the leap to the big stage.
Willis Black is a welterweight prospect from Detroit, Michigan, with an impressive 7-2 record. Black is coming off a huge win over former UFC fighter Justin Edwards, putting him away in only 47 seconds.
— ShayMyName (@ImShannonTho) July 4, 2019
Black got started in MMA when he started wrestling in high school. A friend of his invited him to an MMA gym, so he went and the rest is history. Since 2017, MMA has been his full-time job but he is and always will be a Youth Mentor.
“I was an active program coordinator at the Boys and Girls Club. I had been with the Boys and Girls Club since high school and now I’m a volunteer. I’m also the volunteer assistant wrestling coach at Romulus HS,” says Black.
Black trains out of a small camp in Ypsilanti, Michigan called Bushido Mixed Martial Arts. It’s small but a family group among all the men and women. “My main sparring partners include head coach Chris Simpson, Coach Travis Spivey, and Pro MMA fighter Brandon Noble.”
Black started his amateur career in 2013 and went 7-2. He has an identical pro record and has had many highlights in his career.
“I was formerly the amateur WXC Welterweight and Middleweight Champion. Also holding a KO of the Year in 2013 which was also featured in the Dirty Dozen. I now currently hold the WXC Pro Welterweight Championship along with 2018 KO of the Year, 2018 Submission of the Year, and 2018 Fighter of the Year. I am a top-ranked true welterweight in Michigan.”
But it hasn’t all been success for Black, but he’s climbed back successfully.
“The low of my career was taking four losses straight in 2017, including two pro MMA bouts and two pro boxing bouts just after the birth of my firstborn son. The high of my career is what those losses did to me and to come back in 2018 and go undefeated for the year winning by KO, sub, getting fighter of the year and a world title following a devastating time in my career.”
Reaching low points can be great motivation to be as great as you can be going forward, as Michael Chiesa explained after his win last night at UFC 239. Black expressed a similar sentiment about his struggles.
“Those losses made me reevaluate what it was that I was in this sport for. I couldn’t wait to have a brand new baby boy to throw my career away. I realized that I can do this but if I was going to, I’d have to make myself better. Those losses made me who I am today because I work so much harder so that I know that I did everything I could to be ready. That’s all I want is to reflect and say there was nothing else in my power, I can live with whatever results after.”
Black was 3-0 professionally before suffering his first loss and then lost his very next fight dropping two in a row. Despite two consecutive losses, “Silverback” is a much better fighter and now on a four-fight win streak. Now 7-2 with a perfect finish rate, the UFC could very well be next. Black kept it simple when sending a message to the UFC president: “Dana White, talk to me when you’re ready.”
Dana White’s Contender Series is now taking over the summer and some spots are still open toward the end of the season. Black has the style that Dana loves and when I asked Black about the opportunity he said it would be something him and his manager would discuss with one another.
Black is still young at only 25-years-old, so if the UFC doesn’t come calling yet, it isn’t necessarily a bad thing. There are still good fights out there and the promotion WXC has done a great job finding suitable opponents for “Silverback.”
“It’s not a callout, it’s a respect thing, some tough guys would be Devin Smyth, who earned a spot on the Contender Series and Bobby Nash who is a UFC veteran,” says Black on fights that interest him.
With 13 career finishes as an amateur and pro, a KO of the Year in 2013 over Troy Wilson was Black’s favorite finish among all his highlight-reel finishes. You can check out the full fight here.
When asking fighters why they fight you get answers like for the fame, the money, the competition, and more. Black is different though.
“I have so many reasons to fight for. I’ll give you a top three. I fight for glory, a legacy, and a better life to change the lives around me. Who I fight for is my wife and children, especially my son.”