by Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly.com
Officials from the International Fight League this morning confirmed the death of California Condors fighter, 27 year-old Jeremy Williams. The Orange County, Calif. Sheriff’s Department Coroner Division confirmed Williams’ death to the IFL and stated that an autopsy will be performed to officially determine the cause of death.
Sources close to Williams have told MMAWeekly that comments made online about the situation are true, that Williams did indeed take his own life. Apparently, he was found in his car and died of what is believed to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Williams was the middleweight representative of the Marco Ruas coached California Condors in the IFL. He had not fought in nearly five years before Ruas and the IFL made Williams an offer he couldn’t refuse, so he returned to the ring in January of this year. He won his first two IFL bouts – over Bristol Marunde and Kazuhiro Hamanaka – and his career seemed to be headed up. Williams’ overall professional record stands at 7-2.
He seemed to be happy with his return to fighting and excited to be a part of Ruas’ Condors. As Williams said in an interview with MMAWeekly’s Mick Hammond in March of this year, “I feel good and I’m real excited… I really do feel that we have the best coach in the IFL. He’s amazing, just the time he takes with us and the things he teaches us.”
A very popular figure among friends, the most common sentiment among those that knew Jeremy seemed to be disbelief and shock. As one IFL official put it, “We’re all still trying to come to grips with this. You never know why; but if you knew Jeremy… it just doesn’t make sense.”
Close friend Chris Brennan released the following statements yesterday – reprinted with his permission: “I was fortunate enough for [Jeremy] to walk into my school not yet 18 years old in 1998. Jeremy was a best friend to me for many years and I sort of raised him when he wasn’t at home, took him under my wing and showed him everything I know. He grew as a person, teacher and MMA fighter. I’m not sure what causes people to do the things they do, but I feel terribly for his family and everyone around him. Jeremy, I love you like a brother… and I will miss you dearly.”
IFL Co-founder and Commissioner Kurt Otto commented, “Jeremy was a tremendous competitor and teammate, as well as being a very strong person who lifted the spirits of everyone around him. Our thoughts and prayers are with Jeremy’s wife, Lauren, their young daughter and the rest of his family, as well as his coaches Marco Ruas and Debi Purcell and all his teammates. Everyone at the IFL, as well as the entire MMA community, will do everything we can to support them in their hour of need.”
Details for a memorial service have not yet been announced.