Keenan: ‘I can no longer be absolutely sure that this is the right environment for me’

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Middleweight Keenan Cornelius, during the yesterday's finals. Photo: GRACIEMAG

Middleweight Keenan Cornelius. Photo: Ivan Trindade

Keenan Cornelius just released a statement on Facebook on his departure from Team Lloyd Irvin.

He states that the decision was his alone, although he took the opinion of his family, who publicly campaigned for him to leave Maryland in the last few weeks, greatly into consideration.

Keenan thanked Lloyd and Team Lloyd Irvin for the time he spent with them and said that he made great friends there, but he also said he is not 100 percent sure that TLI is the right enviroment for him under the current circumstances.

He also did not disclose where is he going to, although already revealed that he has been in touch with a Jiu-Jitsu team on the West Coast.

Here is the full statement:

I think some of you could care less about where I go, or what I do, and I get that, but a lot of people, including professional publications, have asked why I’ve left TLI. I want to make it clear what my reasoning is so there’s no more speculation, or worse the wrong reasons assumed:

Obviously, the circumstances surrounding TLI having been public so I don’t need to clarify a subject that many of you already understand and have been saturated with. In the last 6 weeks, article and blogs have spun out of control, testimonies given, and arguments and explanations made; clearly there are many views – much of which contradict each other.

What I believe and feel about these issues is personal and private, but let me make something understood, I would, and will never, endorse, or support wrongdoing whether it’s on the mat or off. And though I have made truly great friends through TLI, have had the best training of my life here, and the greatest success, its time for me to go. I can no longer be absolutely sure that this is the right environment for me under the current and enlightening circumstances.

Leaving a team is not easy – especially a team like TLI. I owe a great deal of gratitude for many things that Lloyd Irvin has done for me and the training I have had with TLI. And in my decision to leave, I in no way dismiss what was good about training in MD. So I want to thank TLI and Lloyd Irvin for that experience; it was the best I’ve had. However, not all things, or circumstances, are all good, and I had to weigh what was good for, against what was not, and proceed.

I have to to say that my family has been very supportive (everyone should have one of those), but ultimately leaving was my decision. Though their opinion was respected and appreciated; in the end, I came to this decision independent of them.

The future…where I’ll train…I don’t know. From what I’ve read, I think a lot of you know where I’m headed more that I do. But yeah, there’s a lot to think about and hopefully there’ll be a bit of time to do that. I know there is great jiu jitsu and training and good times ahead. My life is bjj, and I hope to be heading out to meet and train with some great athletes who feel the same. But I’ll tell you, I’m gonna make sure that where, how, and who I do that with, is practicing that life on the mat in a way that I can truly get behind.


Keenan Cornelius

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