It’s been a tough year for welterweight Jaleel Willis, but things got a little better when he returned to the win column on Friday at Bellator 289.
Willis (16-4) claimed an important unanimous decision victory over Kyle Crutchmer, snapping a two fight skid in the process. That certainly takes some pressure off, but just how bad was Willis’ year prior to Friday night?
“On thanksgiving, instead of me eating, I was out there stuffing takedowns,” he said during his post-fight media scrum. Okay, that’s kind of crummy, but part of the fight game.
Then there was losing a couple of cars. “Straight up, I lost the Cadillac, I lost an Infinity, all to Memphis, they was doing their thing, they took all my sh*t,” revealed Willis, who resides in Memphis, TN. That was just the beginning. “I lost a lot, bro. It was a tough year, and then I took two Ls, lost two girlfriends. I was just taking Ls, and I was like sh*t, I gotta get to winning for real.”
At the very least, the win over Crutchmer is a reprieve.
“The Realist” is staying positive moving forward. “I believe what you all seen tonight was just the beginning. At first I was kind of content with what I’d been doing. I had to be humbled quite a bit, and that’s what happened to me this year. And now, I think I’m on one of the best teams in the world, got some of the best coaches in the world. I got LAW School [MMA, in Memphis], I got Kill Cliff FC behind me. So I can’t be stopped.”
With that in mind, Jaleel Willis had a message for the welterweight division.
“Real is here. The real is here. I might have stumbled a little bit, but the real is here, man,” Willis exclaimed. “Y’all better know it, bruh. I ain’t bullsh*tting. The real is here, man.”
Watch the full Bellator 289 post-fight media appearance by Jaleel Willis above.