“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.

Who will be The Baddest Motherf*cker – Diaz vs Masvidal UFC 244?


On Friday, November 2, 2019, the Ultimate Fighting Championship will be making their 500th live event at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York for UFC 244.

Headlining the event will be a welterweight bout between Jorge Masvidal and Nate Diaz for the newly created ‘Baddest Motherf*cker’ in the game belt.

After a three-year hiatus, Nate Diaz returned on August 17th, 2019 at UFC 241, with a winning performance over Anthony Pettis reminding us (those that needed reminding), why he is regarded already as one of the ‘Baddest Motherf*ckers’ in this sport by hardcore fans.

Watching cage side was Jorge Masvidal, who by all accounts wasn’t that impressed with Nate’s performance, so when Nate called out Jorge, it was music to his ears.

Coming off a five-second win via knockout of Ben Askren, Jorge Masvidal has of late been surging through the welterweight division this year with back to back violent knockout wins, and in the process, gaining more casual MMA fans due to his aggressive winning style.

The fans and the whole MMA community were begging for this matchup to be made, and to everyone’s delight, it was confirmed that Nate Diaz would face Jorge Masvidal for the Baddest Motherf*cker belt on November 2nd, 2019 at Madison Square Garden.

With both men having similar losing records Diaz (20 wins), 11 losses, one knockout, one submission, nine decisions, and Masvidal (34 wins) 13 losses, one knockout, two submissions and ten decisions, it comes down to who is the real BMF in this sport.

Although some fans will see this fight as a submission artist in Diaz, having had 11 of his wins come via submission, and knockout artist Masvidal having had 15 of wins come via knockout – a grappler vs striker fight, this couldn’t be further than what it seems on paper.

With official early betting odds coming in as Jorge Masvidal being the favourite over Nate Diaz, with odds ranging from -165 to -179, as stated by Sascha P from Sports Betting Dime, it was only fair that I asked a few other people who they thought would win the BMF belt.

The American Psycho” Stephan Bonnar – TUF 1 finalist and UFC Hall of Famer says:

“I’m leaning on Masvidal because he’s been wrecking guys.”

Matt BaileyThe MMA Bible and superfan says:

“Masvidal has shown explosive skills recently, however, I feel Diaz will be all too familiar with this, opting to keep distance early on but will close the distance as the fight goes on.  I expect this to be a stand-up affair but feel that Diaz will look to turn to his grappling in the latter stages of the fight, and it may well hit the canvas.  I’m expecting a lot of clinching and cage work in this fight with Diaz getting the better of Masvidal in these exchanges.  Both fighters have exceptional stand-up skills in which I see it being a very fast-paced chess match style. With all of the above said my official prediction is – Nate Diaz via decision.”

Mark Baldwin of FightPost says:

“It’s a difficult fight to pick a winner.  Masvidal, after a career slump, is riding into this fight after highlight-reel knockouts of Darren Till and Ben Askren.  Masvidal is on the verge of a title shot.  A win over Diaz should give him that chance sometime in 2020.  The odds slightly favour Masvidal, and that’s the way I see it also.  There is every chance Diaz could be too busy, and for me, he has more ways to win.  But I think Masvidal gets it done, probably on points, although a late stoppage in his favour can’t be ruled out.”

And as for me, well, if Masvidal can get it done within three rounds he can win, otherwise, as Nate is known as a slow starter and comes alive more as the rounds go on, I see Nate taking it over the five rounds and wins via decision.

Darren Till Vs Nicolas Dalby added to UFC Dublin Card on October 24th


Undefeated welterweights Darren Till and Nicolas Dalby will square off on October 24th after being added to the UFC Fight Night: Poirier Vs Duffy card in Dublin, where someone’s ‘0’ has gotta go.

UFC Fight Night Dublin

Britains Darren Till is originally from Liverpool, England, who holds a professional unbeaten record of 13-0-0 and is coming off a TKO victory over Wendell Oliveria at UFC Fight Night: CONDIT vs ALVES  in May of this year.

Denmark’s Ian Dalby, who holds a professional unbeaten record of 14-0-0 and was also in action at UFC FIGHT NIGHT: CONDIT vs ALVES where he gained a decision victory over Elizeu Zaleski Dos Santos.

UFC FIGHT NIGHT: POIRIER vs. DUFFY marks the UFC’s return to Dublin, following a sold out event, headlined by “The Notorious” Conor McGregor, in July 2014. With tickets to the 2014 event selling out in under an hour, fans are advised to secure their tickets to this year’s event at the earliest opportunity.

This year’s fight card will be headlined by a five round lightweight bout between Ireland’s Joseph “Irish” Duffy and top 15 ranked Dustin “The Diamond” Poirier.

 

Also featuring on the fight card are Dublin’s Cathal Pendred, who faces English newcomer Tom Breese, Northern Ireland’s “Stormin” Norman Parke, who meets Sweden’s Reza “Mad Dog” Madadi England’s Scott Askham who faces off against Poland’s Krzysztof Jotko and South African Garreth “Soliderboy” McLellan who will face American Bubba “The Fighting Texas Aggie” Bush.

Tickets for UFC FIGHT NIGHT®: POIRIER vs. DUFFY will go on sale to UFC FIGHT CLUB®members at 10:00 a.m. IST on Wednesday, September 2, with Sun+ subscribers also getting priority access from 12:00 p.m. IST on Wednesday.

Tickets will become available to UFC Newsletter subscribers on Friday, September 4 at 10:00 a.m. IST with general sale taking place from 12:00 p.m. IST.

In order to avoid disappointment, fans are encouraged to register their interest via this LINK for UFC FIGHT NIGHT: POIRIER vs. DUFFY to receive information and reminders about the ticket sale.

UFC Fight Night 67 Results: Carlos Condit defeats Thiago Alves in a Vicious Bloody Battle


UFC Fight Night 67 came from Goiania in Brazil last night where “The Natural Born Killer” Carlos Condit defeated Thiago Alves in what turned out to be one bloody battle.

Carlos Condit vs. Thiago Alves UFC Fight Night 67 Goiania

Although it was not the finish any fighter would want to end any fight, but when you’ve suffered a severe broken nose for which part of the bone ends up popping out near your eyebrow, the doctor has to make the right call, for which he made at the end of a vicious and bloody round two.

Thiago Alves Severe Broken Nose UFC Fight Night 67 Goiania

In the co-main event it was Charles Oliveira who won yet another thrilling back and forth fight against Nik Lentz via a super slick guillotine in the third round.

Here are the full results:

Main Card

Carlos Condit   Def  Thiago Alves  Via TKO (Doctor Stoppage) 5.00 Mins Round Two

Winner - Carlos Condit UFC Fight Night 67 Goiania

Charles Oliveira  Def  Nik Lentz  Via Guillotine 1 Min 10 Sec Round Three

Winner Charles Oliveira UFC Fight Night 67 Goiania

Charles Oliver with his winning Guillotine UFC Fight Night 67 Goiania

Alex Oliveira  Def K.J. Noons Via RNC 2 Mins 51 Secs Round One

Francimar Barroso  Def  Ryan Jimmo  Via Unanimous Decision  30-27, 30-27, 29-28

Francisco Trinaldo  Def  Norman Parke Via Split Decision  29-28, 28-29, 29-28

Darren Till  Def  Wendell Oliveira  Via KO (Elbows)  1 Min 37 Secs Round Two

Winner Darren Till UFC Fight Night 67 Goiania

Preliminary Card 

Rony Jason  Def  Damon Jackson Via Triangle Choke  3 Mins 31 Secs Round One

Winner Rony Jason UFC Fight Night 67 Goiania

Rony Jason with Winning Triangle Choke over Damon Jackson UFC Fight Night 67 Goiania

Jussier Formiga Def  Wilson Reis Via Unanimous Decison  29-28, 29-28, 29-28

Nicolas Dalby Def  Elizeu Zalesk  Via Split Decision  29-28, 28-29, 29-28

Mirsad Bektic Def  Lucas Martins Via TKO  0.30 Secs Round Two

Preliminary Card Fight Pass

Juliana Lima  Def  Ericka Almeida Via Unanimous Decision  30-27, 30-27, 30-25

Tom Breese Def  Luiz Dutra  Via TKO  4 Mins 58 Secs Round One

BONUSES $50,000 EACH

POTN

Charles Oliveira

Rony Jason

FOTN

Charles Oliveira

Nik Lentz

UFC Fight Night Goiania: Condit vs. Alves full weigh-in results


UFC Fight Night comes from Goiania in Brazil which airs live and free on FOX Sports 1 in the states and BT Sports in UK.

In the main event we see the return of Carlos Condit for which he is set to face Thiago Alves and Featherweight contenders Nik Lentz and Charles Oliveira will battle in out in the co-main event.

Carlos Condit vs. Thiago Alves Face Off UFC Fight Night Goiania

Before we get to the fights we have to make sure they’re all on weight.

Here are the full weigh-in results:

Main Card

Carlos Condit (170 lbs) vs. Thiago Alves (170 lbs)

Thiago Alves Weigh-in UFC Fight Night Goiania

Carlos Condit Weigh-in UFC Fight Night Goiania

Nik Lentz (146 lbs)  vs. Charles Oliveira (144 lbs)

Nik Lentz vs. Charles Oliveira Face Off UFC Fight Night Goiania

K.J. Noons (170 lbs) vs. Alex Oliveira (170 lbs)

K.J. Noons vs. Alex Oliveira Face Off UFC Fight Night Goiania

Ryan Jimmo (206 lbs) vs. Francimar Barroso (205 lbs)

Francisco Trinaldo (156 lbs) vs. Norman Parke (156 lbs)

Norman Parke Weigh-in UFC Fight Night Goiania

Francisco Trinaldo vs. Norman Parke Face Off UFC Fight Night Goiania

Wendell Oliveira (170 lbs) vs. Darren Till (171 lbs)

Wenden Oliveira vs. Darren Till Face Off UFC Fight Night Goiania

Preliminary Card 

Rony Jason (146 lbs) vs. Damon Jackson (145 lbs)

Rony Jason vs. Damon Jackson Face Off UFC Fight Night Goiania

Jussier Formiga (126 lbs) vs. Wilson Reis (126 lbs)

Elizeu Zaleski (171 lbs) vs. Nicolas Dalby (171 lbs)

Mirsad Bektic (146 lbs) vs. Lucas Martins (145 lbs)

Preliminary Card Fight Pass

Juliana Lima (115 lbs) vs. Ericka Almeida (116 lbs)

Juliana Lima vs. Ericka Almeida Face Off UFC Fight Night Goiania

Luiz Dutra (170 lbs) vs. Tom Breese (171 lbs)

Tom Breese Weigh-in UFC Fight Night Goiania