“Cage Warriors is the show where I’m going to make my comeback and win the welterweight title.” – Tom ‘Kong’ Watson


Originally posted on 8th April 2019

Tom 'Kong' Watson
Tom ‘Kong’ Watson

Born and raised in Southampton, England, Tom Watson first started in combat sports at the age of 16, when he took up boxing.  A three-time ABA Southern Counties Champion and being awarded ‘Amateur boxing standout of the year’ in 2006 was his introduction into mixed martial arts.

Watson made his professional mixed martial arts debut on 19th February 2006 for a local show at the Copthorne Hotel and Resort in London. On ‘ZT Fight Night 1’ where he won via Guillotine choke in 71 seconds, he returned on the show’s second instalment on June 25th the same year where he won via decision.

In 2007, Watson competed in five fights for UK promotion Cage Rage gaining a record of two wins and three losses.  From 2008 – 2012 Watson fought a further twelve times for promotions Cage Rage, AFC, UCMMA (formerly Cage Rage), MFC and BAMMA.  With his sole loss to Jesse Taylor at MFC 26, Watson picked up the inaugural UCMMA middleweight title along with the BAMMA middleweight title when he fought Jack Marshman at BAMMA 9.

With news that Watson has signed to elite European promotion Cage Warriors and will be facing Aaron ‘King’ Khalid at Cage Warriors 104 on April 27th, 2019 in Cardiff, it was only fitting that I should re-introduce ‘Kong’ to the world.

You’d be forgiven if you are not familiar with Tom ‘Kong’ Watson as of late, with his last competitive fight being on August 8th, 2015 for the UFC.  Spending three years with the world’s number one promotion in the UFC, Watson had two wins and five losses (with those losses coming by way of decisions) for the UFC taking his overall record to 17-9.

Watson was not done with competing and was still actively seeking opportunities to fight in the UFC.  Having no success, Watson was released by the UFC and continued to explore roles outside of the UFC, doing some commentary jobs here and there.  It was at this point that promotion BAMMA contacted Watson regarding doing some presenting and commentary jobs for them. They also wanted Watson (who had been with BAMMA since their first event up until he signed to the UFC) to compete again for them. This news was music to Watson’s ears as he had not hung up his gloves and retired as many people thought due to his 3-year absence from the sport.

Unfortunately, due to issues out of Watson’s control, BAMMA was no longer a viable option as a promotion to make his long-awaited come back on. Instead, elite European promotion Cage Warriors signed Watson in the welterweight division (Watson previously competed in the middleweight division) in January of 2019.

Watson trains predominately at his state of the art gym called ‘Analysis’ which is located right next to him in Southampton, and with the occasional odd trip back to California to train. Watson is already preparing hard for his upcoming bout for his Cage Warriors debut.

Deciding to cut down to welterweight was an easy decision for Watson. He stated that “quite a few people had told me that I should have been a welterweight when I competed in the UFC as I never really cut any weight.  When I look back on my career I do wonder if 170lb was the weight, I should have been competing at, so this is an attempt to test out that theory.”

Not content with winning a UCMMA (formally known as Cage Rage) and BAMMA title, Watson has made it very clear that the aim is to win the Cage Warriors welterweight title stating “I’m not coming here to have a bit of fun or have a couple of fights.  I’m coming here to pick up another title to add to the two other titles I have held.  I don’t know if there is anybody that has all of those titles, so that is my goal.”

With his first love being boxing Watson is in the middle of applying of getting his trainers license as he has a few guys who are looking to make their pro boxing debut so he can be in their corner.

/With the legalisation of Bare Knuckle Boxing, Watson has a couple of guys that he trains. Watson stated “it is not something that interests me, I do like the idea of fighting without gloves more than with gloves, I think gloves are probably less safe, and bare-knuckle is safer. It’s a big misconception that people think Bare Knuckle Boxing is more dangerous.  I’d say it is a lot safer as you can’t do much damage as you break your hands more and you don’t have this protection and mould on your fist to keep punching the shots away.  I will say though on bare-knuckle when they wear the wraps; I think it’s like wearing gloves and its worse, so to me, bare-knuckle boxing should be basically without wraps or anything.”

Going back to his time with the UFC, Watson stated “ I competed against the best in the world, and I have never got finished by any of them, only losing by decisions. Quite a few were controversial decisions at best for me.  Fighting is fighting and if you are losing a decision sport contest– well I’ve said it before, in the UFC I don’t really see that as losing, just the system and the setup. For instance, if we changed the UFC fight to a no time limit would of I lost any of those fights? I doubt it.  It is what it is, that’s the rules you play by.  Strategy wise I probably didn’t fight too smart. If you look at the earnings of the people in the UFC, I’m still relatively high up there, and I didn’t win many fights, so, on that basis, well it was smart – possibly.”

For those of you that have followed Watson’s career from the beginning, you will recall Watson enters the cage wearing a gorilla mask, hence why he has the nickname ‘Kong’. As Watson made his last appearance for the UFC in 2015, a new British fighter in the name of Darren ‘The Gorilla’ Till was making his debut for the promotion. “I’m not bothered by Darren Till” Watson states, “I believe Dan Hardy gave him the nickname ‘Gorilla’, it is what it is. I think everyone knows ‘Kong’ more than Darren Till’s ‘The Gorilla’.

“Darren Till is a great fighter, but I don’t think he is synonymous with a Gorilla.”

“Cage Warriors is the show where I’m going to make my comeback and win the welterweight title.”

With his debut for his Cage Warriors bout being dubbed ‘King’ vs ‘Kong’, there will only one way to find out if this is the start of a resurgence for Tom ‘Kong’ Watson by tuning into Cage Warriors 104 on April 27th live on UFC Fight Pass.

David Haye Joins the BAMMA Presenting Team on April 25th Live on SPIKE TV


BAMMA, leaders in MMA sports entertainment and the home of European MMA, is proud to announce former World Heavyweight Boxing Champion David “Hayemaker” Haye as the newest addition to the BAMMA presenting team. 

David Haye Joins BAMMA presenting Team.
David Haye Joins BAMMA presenting Team.

 
Joining the team on a long-term basis, Haye’s first action will be for the live broadcast of BAMMA 20 – airing on Spike TV and across the globe on Saturday April 25th. No stranger to the big fight nights, Haye will help guide viewers through all the adrenaline fuelled action at the Barclaycard Arena in Birmingham, as BAMMA delivers one of its biggest and best events to date.

The former world Heavyweight champion, who has fought some of the world’s best boxers including Wladimir Klitschko, Nikolai Valuev & Dereck Chisora, will bring his own unique insight and perspective on the sport of MMA to BAMMA fans worldwide.

BAMMA CEO David Green said:

“We’re delighted to have ‘The Hayemaker’ on board. He is one of the biggest and best known names in the combat sport world, and having David as part of the team guarantees even more entertainment and excitement for BAMMA fans.”

Talking of his crossover into MMA, Haye had the following to say:

“I’ve been a fan of Martial Arts since I could walk, as my father was a Karate instructor. I’ve followed the growth of MMA since Royce Gracie broke into the scene. It’s a pleasure to be part of the growth of BAMMA and MMA, as it’s a fantastic sport. I hope my years of fight experience at the highest level translates into solid commentary for these amazing MMA events.”
 
​You can follow David Haye on Twitter @MrDavidHaye​ and of course BAMMA @BAMMA

BAMMA 20 - No More Talk
BAMMA 20 – No More Talk

Here is the Fight card as it stands so far for Saturday, April 25th.

MAIN EVENT

BAMMA Light Heavyweight Title

Brett “The Spartan” McDermott Vs. Marcin “Bane” Lazarz

Colin “The Freakshow” Fletcher Vs. Andre Winner

BAMMA Bantamweight Title

Ed Arthur Vs. Alan “The Apprentice” Philpott

BAMMA Flyweight Title

Rany Saadeh (c) Vs. Chris Miah

Regis “The First” Sugden Vs. Ant “Submission Magician” Phillips

Jefferson “Shadow Demon Blaximus” George Vs. Rick Selvarajah

Jack Grant Vs. Warren “Relentless” Kee

“Dirty” Harry Marple vs. Chris Astley

Aiden Lee Vs. Adam Jahovic

Tickets on sale now: Click here

FURY MMA 14 – Event fight Results March 8th


FURY MMA held their fourteenth event on Sunday, March 8th at Studio 338 in London, with an action packed card full of MMA, K1 and Boxing.

With respected UK MMA referee Daniel ‘The Gentleman’ Movahedi, to whom is Co-Owner, Co-Founder & Fight Coordinator alongside Steve Doran, you know FURY MMA events will always bring you a first class experience and this event was no exception.

Dan and Steve FURY MMA 14
Dan and Steve FURY MMA 14

Flying in especially to corner his ‘Lions Pride Team’ was UFC fighter Jimi Manuwa who had four fighter’s on tonight’s card.

Lions Pride Team at FURY MMA 14
Lions Pride Team at FURY MMA 14

Having had the commentary team in place, for which was the job of Chris Hoekstra and UFC fighter Brad ‘One Punch’ Pickett calling the action tonight, the only thing left to do was to introduce the third man into the octagon for which was the job of Ron ‘Bomber’ Frith and let tonight’s action packed event take place.

Chris Hoekstra and Brad Pickett commentating at FURY MMA 14
Chris Hoekstra and Brad Pickett commentating at FURY MMA 14

 

 FIGHT RESULTS

 MAIN EVENT

          Pro MMA 170lbs  WW: Simon Wright v Jacek Kaminski 

          Winner: Jacek Kaminski Via TKO referee stoppage due to GnP    Round one 0.39 secs

          Pro MMA 205lbs  LHW: Victor peixoto v Mark Jone

          Winner: Victor Peixoto Via guillotine choke Round One  0.12 secs

         Amateur A Class 145lbs FW: Jordan French v Dylan Edwards         

        Winner: Jordan French Via TKO referee stoppage due to   GnP Round One

        Amateur A Class 145lbs FW: Vitor Silva V Josh Onwardi

       Winner: Josh onwardi Via triangle choke Round One  2 min 23 secs

       Amateur A Class 185lbs  MW: Jay Tovee v Luke Lendrum

       Winner: Luke Lendrum Via Majority Decision

       Amateur A Class 17olbs WW: Korlos Kaminskas v Chris  Kemblaku  

Winner: Korlos Kaminskas Via Armbar  Round One 1 min 48 secs

       Pro 170lbs WW: Alex Lohor v Brendan Morgan

       Winner: Alex Lohor Via Tko Referee stoppage due to GnP  1 min 22 secs

        Amatuer A Class 145lbs FW: Sam Walker v Ayat Lorestani

       Winner: Sam Walker Via Split Decision 

       This fight was awarded #FOTN

       Amateur A Class 185lbs WW: Cameron Rice vMathew Nicholson 

       Winner: Mathew Nicholson Via TKO referee stoppage GnP    Round One 1 min 14 secs

       Amateur A Class 170lbs WW: Nerijus senavaitis v Arman   Rostam

       Winner: Arman Rostam Via Bull dog Choke  1 min 24 secs

       Amateur A Class 155lbs LW: Hayden Smith v Jessi Kila

       Winner: Jessi kila Via: KO Head Kick  0.27 secs

K1 3 x 2 Minute Round

       K1 : Darren Leston v Seth Mon 170lbs Welterweight

       Winner : Darren Leston Via Majority Decision

       K1 : Richard Keeler v Kirk Jackson 170lbs Welterweight

       Winner: Richard keeler Via Majority Decision

Boxing 3 x 2 Minute Rounds

       Boxing: Rickel Reid v James Nutbrown 205lbs LHW

       Winner: Rickel Reid Via Judges decision

 

The next FURY MMA 15 event – The Uprising, has already started to take shape, which will be held on Sunday May 17th click here for further details.

FURY MMA - The Uprising May 17th, Studio 338, London
FURY MMA – The Uprising May 17th, Studio 338, London

 

You can keep up-to date on everything FURY MMA related on their Facebook here.

You can follow Daniel ‘The Gentleman’ Movahedi on his Facebook Fanpage here.

 

Photo Credits: Jimi Manuwa Instagram

Photo Credits: FURY MMA

Photo Credits: Daniel Movahedi Facebook

COUNTDOWN TO UFC 184 FULL VIDEO HOLLY HOLM VS RAQUEL PENNINGTON


“Countdown” to UFC 184 aired on FOX Sports 1 last night featuring Holly Holm and Raquel Pennington who will face each other on February 28th inside Staples Center, Los Angeles, California.

Arguably the greatest female boxer in history, Holly Holm is eager to test her skills inside the octagon. The first UFC test is against Raquel Pennington in the Co-Main event of UFC 184.

 

Video Credit: UFC

BOXING SUPERSTAR MANNY PACQUIAO BECOMES A SHAREHOLDER IN MMA PROMOTION ONEFC


Victor Cui [CEO of OneFC] and Manny Pacquiao
Victor Cui [CEO of OneFC] and Manny Pacquiao
Boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao has become a shareholder in Asian-based Mixed Martial Art Company One Fighting Championship, [OneFC], it has been reported earlier today.

The eight division world champion boxer, [in which he has ten world titles] already owns several gyms in Asia all equipped to offer  MMA classes and training areas, so the next step for the ‘newbie’ in the sport was to become a shareholder.

You can read here where the official story broke and all of it contents in detail.