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


  • Share on Tumblr
  • submit to reddit

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 >>

Related News

  • 21 days ago
  • 26 views

Injury has forced fan-favorite middleweight Tom Lawlor out of UFC Fight Night 46, and UFC officials are now seeking a replacement opponent for Ilir Latifi.Filed under: News, UFC more

  • 25 days ago
  • 58 views

One of the middleweight stalwarts that Lyoto Machida dispatched en route to a title shot was Mark Munoz. Check out the full fight, where Machida dropped his friend Munoz at UFC Fight Night: Machida vs. Munoz. more

  • 21 days ago
  • 26 views

Tom Lawlor has suffered an injury that will force him off the UFC Fight Night 46 card and out of his bout with Ilir Latifi. Tom Lawlor is out of his bout with Ilir Latifi at UFC Fight Night 46 according to an MMA Junkie report. An injury has forced Lawlor off of the card, set for the O2 Arena in Dublin, and left the UFC searching for a replacement to take on Latifi. Lawlor has traded wins and losses for his last six trips to the Octagon, most recently picking up a submission victory by guillotin more

  • 14 days ago
  • 50 views

WARNING—SPOILER ALERT: If you don’t want to know the story behind the movie, read no further. On May 17, 1996, Mark Schultz stepped into the Octagon at UFC 9 on just 24 hours notice. Standing across the cage from him was the formidable Gary Goodridge. It was a tough assignment for any first-time fighter, yet Schultz dominated the fight utterly, defeating Goodridge and making it look like child’s play. For fans of both wrestling and the new sport of MMA, seeing Schultz inside the cage was simply more

  • 11 days ago
  • 50 views

A highly anticipated lightweight contest has been scrapped, as Michael Johnson has been forced to withdraw from a planned UFC on FOX 12 bout with Josh Thomson.Filed under: News, UFC more

  • 5 days ago
  • 23 views

Check out a wide variety of crazy stats, facts and figures to come out of Wednesday’s UFC return to Atlantic City. Filed under: News, UFC more

  • 28 days ago
  • 34 views

The UFC continues to snap up talent faster than you can say Jack Robinson. Because the UFC is acquiring fighters at such a rapid pace, I've left a few people off my recent "Welcome to the UFC" scouting posts. Fighters like Sam Alvey, Kevin Casey, Leonardo Mafra (both Casey and Mafra are actually returning), and Rin Nakai and Tina Lahdemaki (who were each covered in seperate posts). Hopefully I won't have to do this much more, but with the accelerated rate at which the UFC appears to be signing t more

  • 28 days ago
  • 42 views

Every UFC fighter steps into the Octagon with the hope of elevating themselves to a UFC title shot. But what happens when there's a major roadblock in the way? That's the situation in which guys like Junior dos Santos and Urijah Faber find themselves. The end result of fighting is always to push up the rankings, but for these guys, there's only so far they can go. The fighters on this list find themselves in a bit of limbo in that they can defeat nearly every contender thrown their way, but UFC more

  • 28 days ago
  • 43 views

Strap yourself in: The UFC is coming at you with two events this weekend. So grab a case of a beer, fill up the chip bowl and light the grill, because it's going to be a long day. First, on Fight Pass, we get an early (5 a.m. ET) card in America in the form of UFC Fight Night 43. Live from New Zealand, the card boasts local talent and some established veterans who are looking to cement their names. Then on Fox Sports 1, UFC Fight Night 44 hits on Saturday night from San Antonio. Also with some t more