B/R Exclusive: Tom Watson on the UFC, Brian Stann, and BAMMA

Gary HermanCorrespondent IMarch 13, 2012

Tom Watson is interested in making the UFC. He just does not want to go the conventional route.

As a middleweight with a record of 14-4 (six knockouts, one submission), the quickest way to get to the UFC is through the Ultimate Fighter reality show.

That does not appeal to Watson.

“I’ll be 30 soon,” Watson when asked about the TUF. “The last thing I want to do is live in a house full of kids that just want to make it on TV.”

Watson, however, remains steadfast in his goal to compete in the sport’s top promotion. In his career, the former boxer has defeated many notable fighters including Murilo “Ninja” Rua, Matt Horwich, and Travis Galbraith.

“Of course, I want to fight in the UFC,” Watson said. “I know a lot of guys want to protect the organizations’ they’re in, but the UFC is where the money is. That’s where people make a living.”

One person who is in Watson’s corner is also a training partner at Jackson’s MMA – Brian Stann.

“He is one of the most underrated fighters in the world,” Stann said about Watson. “The fact that he is not in the top 10 or at least honorable mention will change soon.”

Watson, tongue-in-cheek, responded to Stann’s comments.

“I don’t know,” Watson said. “Stann’s been hit in the head too many times.”

Going forward, in order for Watson to achieve his goal of making the UFC, he has to continue to be successful on the regional shows.

His next opponent is the undefeated Jack Marshman. Marshman is 10-0 with eight knockouts and one submission.

The fight is scheduled for the upstart BAMMA promotion on March 24.

“Jack is a tough guy,” Watson said. “The fight should be great for the fans. He always comes out and puts on a good fight. It’s gotten “war” written all over it.”

As far as Marshman’s strengths, Watson will be ready

“He’s got a lot of boxing fights as well,” Watson said. “He has fast hands and decent power. I have been preparing for him at my usual spot - Jackson’s MMA.”

Should Watson be victorious, the British native feels the UFC will take notice.

“This is a good fight for me coming up,” Watson said. “Going against a guy that’s 10-0? This is the type of guy the UFC likes as an opponent. I want to make the fans get onto me a little more. That’s what I need to do.”

Watson understands that it takes more to being a successful mixed martial artist then just winning fights. He understands this is a business, and he needs to make fans want to see him.

“It’s important to be a winning fighter,” Watson said, “but you have to be an exciting fighter as well. I don’t want to be like someone like a Jon Fitch. He’s a great fighter, but who’s really going to pay to watch him fight?”

Watson hopes that pretty soon the fans will be paying to see him fight, but prior to any of that, Marshman is first.

“I think it’s going to be a tough fight. At this stage of my career, I can’t afford to lose,” Watson said, noting the importance of the fight. “I’m focusing on a getting a victory.”