Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) pulled middleweight veteran Deron Winn from the UFC Vegas 66 fight card earlier this month in Las Vegas after the 33 year-old bruiser took an unexpected tumble at the “Sin City” Performance Institute, a fall serious enough to warrant a trip to the hospital and the cancelation of his Julian Marquez fight.
Instead of rebooking Winn against “The Cuban Missile Crisis” for a future card, UFC Chief Business Officer Hunter Campbell informed the NAIA All-American that his services would no longer be needed. Probably not the kind of news Winn and his family were hoping for a week before the holidays but as he wrote on social media, “life goes on.”
“Tuesday I got a phone call from Hunter Campbell and the UFC and I guess we decided to part ways,” Winn told his Instagram followers. “He just explained some things to me about my resume and my career that adds up, but I also said a few things to try to defend myself and I just feel like this wasn’t the reason to let me go. I think that they’ve had reasons in the past to let me go, but I just wished that I could’ve went out on my shield. I would’ve rather went out on a loss or even a boring win. Just such an accidental freak accident situation that happened to me at the UFC PI. They have it on camera. Their employees are the ones that took care of me, they withdrew me from the fight.”
Winn (7-3) is coming off a technical knockout loss to Phil Hawes at the UFC Austin event last June and has now dropped three of his last four, leaving him with a 2-3 record in three years under the UFC banner. Fortunately for the Missourian, plenty of options exist outside of the Octagon, including Bellator MMA, PFL, and ONE Championship, among other promotions.
“It’s kinda sh*tty. I feel sh*tty about it,” Winn continued. “I just wish it would’ve happened a different way. But that being said, UFC will never define me or who I am as a person and a man. I do believe it’s a highlight of my life and something that I did and just another dream that I accomplished. But in reality, UFC was never my childhood dream. It was more wrestling and trying to make the Olympic team and stuff like that. I don’t think I’m done. I’m going to sit down with (Daniel Cormier) and others and see what my options are going forward in this free agency time. I’m definitely willing to fight in the future.”
Sounds like there’s more to the story but if not, perhaps Campbell needs a visit from three ghosts on Christmas Eve.