(press release courtesy of BAMMA)
BAMMA confirmed today that a back injury has forced Middleweight Champion Tom “Kong” Watson to withdraw from his title defense at BAMMA 7 against Frank Trigg. Former Bellator welterweight tournament participant ‘Judo’ Jim Wallhead (21-6) has agreed to step in for the injured Watson and will face Trigg in a non-title bout. BAMMA 7 will take place on September 10 at The National Indoor Arena in Birmingham.
Jim Wallhead (21-6), stable mate of Paul ‘Semtex’ Daley and Dan ‘The Outlaw’ Hardy, was riding an impressive eight fight win streak prior to suffering a recent loss to Rick Hawn at Bellator 35. Wallhead went undefeated for three years prior to his loss to Hawn and clinched numerous victories, including impressive unanimous decision wins over Che Mills and Ryan Thomas. Determined to come back strong, Wallhead jumped at the opportunity to step in for the inured Watson to face UFC veteran Frank “Twinkle Toes” Trigg, in what is sure to be an all-out war in the cage.
Jimmy Wallhead had this to say, “I’m really grateful BAMMA have given me this chance to fight on such a big card against a high level athlete like Frank Trigg. It’s a test that I’m looking forward to but I hope he doesn’t think I’m just a late replacement who is there for a quick payday, I’m there to get back to where I belong, at the top, above people like him.”
Tom Watson, who hopes to be fully recovered and back in action by December for BAMMA 8, asked BAMMA executives to issue the following statement regarding his withdrawal.
“It is with massive regret that I have to postpone my fight with Frank Trigg. As you may or may not know, I recently suffered a back injury. Unfortunately, after several sessions with multiple doctors, I have been informed that I will not be cleared to fight. Two different doctors have said that they cannot clear me to fight in September, meaning that not only would I fail my medical, but also that BAMMA would be putting my health at risk, something they are not willing to do,” stated Watson.
“Respectfully, BAMMA has decided to move my title fight, as fighter safety is of paramount importance to the BAMMA organization. I am hoping to be fully recovered and cleared to fight in time for BAMMA 8 in December. Please continue to read my blog on MSN.co.uk and follow me on Twitter at @tomkongwatson for updates on my recovery. I look forward to seeing you all at BAMMA 7 anyway for a great fight card. Adios for now, I’ll be back soon!”
BAMMA 7 happens on Sept 10 in England and will be broadcast on SyFy in the United Kingdom and via BAMMA.tv in the United States.