Following his release from the UFC, Will Chope and ex-wife Ashley have released a video answering a variety of questions regarding his dismissal from the Air Force, and the domestic violence case that spurred his troubles with the organization.
The couple suggested that the incidents, which took place in 2009, and the details provided in the Bleacher Report article from the Air Force documents, were exaggerated, and that they have since become friends.
"Once I read the Bleacher Report article and saw all the comments that everyone was writing, it was like 'gosh, all of this is coming out after we moved past it so long ago.' " Ashley said in the video. "We're really good friends now and it really upsets me that all this is causing so many issues for Will at the moment, and I just want us to be able to just let it go and move on."
"They were completely different. It wasn’t similar to my testimony or Will’s. It was almost as if the prosecutors and his defendant had kind of meshed both sides of our stories together, but they also seemed to figure out just ‘What will he plead guilty to?’ without even telling him what I testified to, so there was a lot I didn’t know until after I saw the documents and once I received them, it was already just a done deal and he had already received the sentence."
Chope, 23, was upset his private life was revealed to the masses and asked for fans to show some empathy and "back off."
"It sucks my private life got thrown out in the media like this, but there's nothing I can do about that now. It's there. I just hope you guys understand and you guys can back off."
He was also disappointed that Bleacher Report had chosen not to contact him for a statement before releasing the article.
"He didn't even bother to contact me or Ashley for opinions or anything before he posted the article; very tabloid and TMZ style, trying to get as many [page] hits as he can - he got them."
The Sacramento-based Chope went 0-1 in his short run with the UFC, losing an entertaining contest to Max Holloway back at UFC Fight Night:Saffiedine vs Lim. He was scheduled to face Diego Brandao two weeks ago in Natal, Brazil, yet was pulled from the fight shortly after weighing in.
Chope has also expressed his gratitude to the UFC for paying him his show money and understands that the organization does not want to associate itself with a fighter with such a record.
"At the end of the day, I did get cut by the UFC. I am grateful. The UFC was grateful enough to actually pay me my show money because I did weigh in for my last fight against Diego Brandao, but I got cut. I hold no ill grudge against the UFC. I understand what they're doing. They're protecting their brand. They don't want a guy who has domestic violence on the record fighting in the UFC, and I get that."
While he understands their decision to release him, he hopes that they could reconsider, as his ambition to become the "best fighter in the world" remains the same.
"But I hope now that they have all the details and all the facts from me and my ex-wife - the victim - that they would reconsider. It's my dream to fight in the UFC. I want to be the best fighter in the world. That's what I want to do. I know that's a long shot, but the only way I'm going to do that is if I'm in the UFC."
"I hope they reconsider."