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.”
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.”
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 >>
Pedro Munhoz’s first four fights in the UFC after a perfect 10-0 start to his career brought him back to reality a bit. Filed under: News, UFC read news >>
LAS VEGAS – The UFC’s newest division took a big step forward on Tuesday, with 46 athletes gathering at Palace Station Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas in hopes of landing a role on “The Ultimate Fighter read news >>
UFC president Dana White on Tuesday addressed the Cris Cyborg battery incident, making the company's first comment on the situation since it occurred. read news >>
LAS VEGAS – The UFC will wait to see what comes of a police investigation before addressing Cristiane Justino’s incident with Angela Magana that involved “Cyborg” allegedly punching Magana.Filed unde read news >>
Astrophysicist and author Neil deGrasse Tyson joins Jim and Matt in studio to discuss his wrestling and rowing days at Harvard, being the only kid he knew who never had a fight, the Big Bang, flat Ea read news >>
Joaquim Silva’s last victory, a 34-second knockout, helped turn some heads. However, if he can follow that up by taking out Reza Madadi, he feels some real fan support would begin to come his way.Fil read news >>
UFC women’s bantamweight Angela Magana wants to fight Cristiane Justino – at least on the mat.Filed under: Featured, News, UFC read news >>
With UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping injured, an interim title fight between Yoel Romero and Robert Whittaker is coming to the division.Filed under: Featured, News, UFC read news >>
A back injury will prevent UFC bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt from defending his title against TJ Dillashaw at UFC 213 on July 8, per Brett Okamoto of ESPN. Dillashaw will instead take on flywe read news >>
With his championship grudge match against Cody Garbrandt off the table for UFC 213, T.J. Dillashaw is apparently planning to drop to flyweight to challenge pound-for-pound king and champion Demetrio read news >>