It seemed like Junie Browning was headed down the right path following his controversial stint on season 8 of The Ultimate Fighter. Apparently not.
Many people questioned why Dana White chose to keep Junie Browning on the show when he had kicked off former contestants for less. Well, it looks likes this was the final straw. Dana terminated his contract immediately upon hearing the news.
“Obviously, I’m very disappointed…He was given an amazing opportunity, but he has some serious issues that are beyond me and what I can do. I’m there for guys and I realize nobody is perfect and guys are going to get into trouble. When that happens, I want to try to help and do something for them. But he needs more help than I can give him. I did what I could for him.”
Asked if the UFC would try to coordinate care for Browning, White said no.
“He’s an adult,” White said. “He’ll figure it out.”
Xtreme Couture trainer Shawn Tompkins had taken Browning under his wing and invited him to live in his home. He obviously cares about Junie’s well-being and plans to help him get through this troubled time.
“This is a tragedy,” Tompkins said. “Those comments that he made were obviously terrible, but you have to understand, he was under the influence of a severe amount of drugs. You can’t hold him accountable for what he said, even though what he said was terrible, because of what he put inside of him. He’s truly a sweet kid, but he’s a guy with a lot of personal issues.
“There is a good Junie Browning and I saw that side of him a lot. But he comes from a real bad upbringing and he suffers from severe depression. He’s had an enormously difficult life. There’s a lot to life beyond stepping into a cage and fighting and being on TV and a lot of people who think they know Junie don’t, really. He’s at a very deep and troubled point in his life.”
“If I’d gotten to his place a half-hour later, there might not be a Junie Browning any longer,” Tompkins said. “Fortunately, he was just five blocks away from me. I realize that his career is more than likely over, but this isn’t about Junie the fighter. This is about Junie the man and the challenge I face is getting him to become a guy who loves his own life instead of trying to take his life.”
It’s hard to have sympathy for Junie after seeing everything he did on TUF, but after hearing Tompkin’s comments, it’s also quite difficult to wish him anything but the best in turning his life around.