Despite 1-1 mark in promotion, UFC 163's Tom Watson says sights on title


UFC middleweight Tom Watson (16-5 MMA, 1-1 UFC) may not be a household name or ranked fighter, but that doesn’t mean his aspirations fall short of earning a world championship.

“Whenever I’m with an organization, the goal is to become the champion and – that’s what the belt represents,” Watson told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio). “The UFC is the same when I signed. I signed to be the champion, I didn’t sign to face some UFC fighters and have a good time.”?

After splitting his first two trips to the octagon, the 31-year-old is just days away from his opportunity to truly let fans know what he’s all about when he makes his UFC pay-per-view debut against Thales Leites (20-4 MMA, 5-3 UFC) at UFC 163.

Leites was a UFC title challenger himself once upon a time, and a victory over him, especially inside the hostile HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, would raise Watson’s stock higher than ever before. His fight with Leites is on the pay-per-view main card following prelims on FX and Facebook.

Even though Leites is making a return to the UFC after a nearly four-year absence, he still is the most notable name “Kong” has fought to date.

He will provide a true test for Watson and help determine whether or not his dream of fighting for a world title ever has the chance of becoming reality.

While Leites may carry more weight in terms of name value than any of Watson’s previous opponents, the Englishman has the utmost faith he will be victorious on Saturday and believes anything other than that type of self-confidence would be a red flag. “Anybody in your division, you should believe you can beat,” said Watson. “If you don’t, then you should look for a different career path.”

In a division that is top-heavy with such names as Chris Weidman, Anderson Silva, Vitor Belfort and Yushin Okami, Watson is aware of the long and painful road to the top, but knows he will get there.

Why?

It’s simple; he wouldn’t compete if his career expectations were anything less than holding UFC gold.

“I signed to be No. 1, and that’s why I do this sport,” he said. “So if that’s not going to be an option, then I’ll retire today.”

For more on UFC 163, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.?

MMAjunkie.com Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at noon ET (9 a.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia, MMAjunkie.com lead staff reporter John Morgan and producer Brian “Goze” Garcia. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio.

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.
From Around the Web

Related News

  • 28 days ago
  • 10 views

While former UFC middleweight and light heavyweight title contender Chael Sonnen is still banned from the Octagon, he might just be poised to start appearing in the squared circle. Speaking on Off th read news >>

  • 27 days ago
  • 57 views

Several days after UFC 184 lost its main event, it's still unclear whether Vitor Belfort will remain on the Feb. 28 pay-per-view and vie for an interim UFC middleweight title rather than fight reigni read news >>

  • 27 days ago
  • 31 views

UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman is not convinced about the need for interim titles. read news >>

  • 25 days ago
  • 0 views

"The Phenom" agrees with you, Chris. Chris Weidman isn't a big fan of interim title fights ... especially those that have to do with his middleweight belt. "All American" recently appeared on "The MM read news >>

  • 14 days ago
  • 6 views

The heavily anticipated UFC middleweight title fight between champ Chris Weidman and top contender Vitor Belfort that was supposed to take place next week appears to have a new home. Filed under: Fea read news >>

  • 14 days ago
  • 5 views

The UFC middleweight title fight between champion Chris Weidman and challenger Vitor Belfort has been moved to UFC 187, according to various reports on Wednesday. read news >>

  • 11 days ago
  • 508 views

UFC middleweight Mark Munoz is fighting next Saturday against Roan Carneiro, which goes against his doctor's advice that he should move on from the sport. It's not been a good run for UFC middleweigh read news >>

  • 11 days ago
  • 4 views

Is the "Fire Kid" UFC bound? If you scour the internet looking for the top ranked prospects in mixed martial arts (MMA) today, you will more than likely encounter France's Tom Duquesnoy at the top of read news >>

  • 4 days ago
  • 10 views

The heavily anticipated UFC middleweight title fight between champ Chris Weidman and top contender Vitor Belfort that was supposed to take place next week appears to have a new home. read news >>