This weekend, former BAMMA Middleweight champion, Tom "Kong" Watson, will finally make his Octagon debut at UFC on Fuel TV 5. Watson will be facing Brad Tavares, with sights on proving his worth as one of the most entertaining fighters in MMA today.
The fight with Tavares will be Watson's 20th bout in his MMA career. Watson is 15-4 in his career, with 7 KO/TKO and 1 Submission victoriy. Kong will be coming to this fight on a three-fight win streak, fresh off his BAMMA Middleweight title defense against Jack Marshman.
Speaking exclusively to LowKick.com, Tom Watson shared thoughts about his fresh start in the UFC, and the fight with Brad Tavares. As always LowKick.com photography extraordinaire Scott Hirano was in the right place at the right time to document Tom Watson's training camp in both photo and video.
How do you feel about finally making your UFC debut? It’s been a long time coming.
I’m excited about finally making my UFC debut. It’s a big event. My last few fights were in the main event in front of a lot of people, so I’m just happy to have another opportunity to entertain the fans. They will not be disappointed.
Do you think you can become a threat in the UFC Middleweight division, thanks to all the experience you gained in BAMMA?
I think I can do well in the UFC Middleweight division. I have the necessary experience and mental toughness to make a statement. I wouldn’t be doing this if I wasn’t sure in my abilities to do well in the UFC.
What do you think about Brad Tavares as an opponent?
I think it’s a good fight. Tavares likes to keep it standing, so at least on paper I think it will be an exciting fight for the fans.
I understand you’ve been traveling a lot in your training camp for Tavares.
Yes, I traveled a lot for this fight, perhaps a bit more than usual. I was in California to train there, I’ve been training one week at Mike’s Gym in the Netherlands, in Atlanta with Brian Stann, and finished my camp at Jackson’s.
Okay, so you helped Brian Stann against a fellow Brit!
Haha, well, yeah. He got a little bit strict on Twitter, and things like that. I’ve been friends with Brian Stann for a long time. He’s my good friend, and I’m happy to help him out.
Do you feel more pressure fighting in the UFC? What about the famous Octagon jitters?
I don’t know about that. Obviously, the fight is in England so many friends will see my fight. Tavares is very well-known in the UFC. I think when you’re fighting to make living, every fight is important. The pressure is always there, and you just have to learn how to live with it if you want to become successful.
You will be fighting on the undercard this time around…
I was expecting to be on the main card. I think I’m respected enough in England to be on the main card, but there are a lot of fighters fighting on this card, so the best I can do is to have an exciting fight to prove myself as a fighter.
What are your goals for the next year in the UFC?
My goal is to be in exciting fights. I grew up watching this sport. I love fighting. I was a big fan of boxing, Erik Morales, guys like that. People are spending a lot of money to watch those fights, and I just want to deliver with the best of my ability. It’s really important to me that fans enjoy my fight.