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Interview: Burt Watson is Rolling Again

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Legendary MMA personality Burt Watson is back. Watson has been hired by New Jersey promotion Cage Fury Fighting Championships ( CFFC). Nicknamed ‘The Babysitter to the Stars’, Watson left the UFC organisation after 14 years on the eve of UFC 184 back in February. Speaking to MMA Latest News back in April, Watson explained that an executive from the UFC had disrespected him and treated him inappropriately as the reasons to his departure. Four months on, MMA Latest News caught up with Watson to talk about his new venture and all things MMA.

Watson explained how his time away helped him weigh up his next move and also talked about his new job.

‘ I took a few months to digest my moves and upcoming future. During my time off with my family I received a few calls from other various promotions about working with them and coming on board in the same capacity I’ve held. Once I had a conversation with Rob Haydak, President of CFFC Cage Fury Fighting Championship, he gave me the best opportunity to continue ‘What I do best’ and stay local with a regional New Jersey Promotion.’

The 66-year-old MMA celebrity did admit the location has a huge factor in taking up his new position:

‘Living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is a plus for me and my family. Cage Fury Fighting Championship does shows in New Jersey, Atlantic City Casinos , Pennsylvania and broadcast on CBS Sports. Its gives the best opportunity to MMA fighters a large local East Coast area’.

When asked about his new job title, Watson outlined what he will offer to CFFC and was excited to be back looking after the future stars of MMA:

‘ With legendary years of experience in MMA Operations, Fighter Relations and the high energy level I bring with me, I’ve been asked to mentor and continue in the same capacity and position I had with the UFC. With years of experience and an average of at least 20 shows a year, I’m excited for the opportunity to work with young fighters and the CFFC….It will only get bigger and better…’

The recent news that Jacob ‘Stitch’ Duran had lost his job after speaking out about the new Reebok deal, Watson gave his thoughts on a friend he has known for years.

‘ I believe that a person’s time in, years of experience and expert knowledge of his work should give them the best resource to tap into for growth. I’ve known Stitch Duran for over 20 years and he has become the best cutman in Boxing and MMA. He has earned his stripes to express himself…’

Watson did agree that the new Reebok deal is like any other Sport/Sponsor relationship.

‘ Sponsors are the financial back bone of most amateur and all professional sports. Once sports and sponsors agree to terms, its a done deal and rules are in place. Eventually everyone will understand that process.’

With the UFC gaining more and more fans due to the popularity of stars like Conor McGregor and Ronda Rousey, Watson admitted the first time he met the Irish sensation he knew a star was born.

‘ When I first met Conor McGregor he came in the same confident person we know today. He was in shape, sure of making weight and confident of his future. When the lights come on some peoples light go out. Conors’ lights don’t even ‘get dim’. I have no problem with Conor talking his way through the division and selling his fights in whatever way he wants. Athletes and Fighters need whatever motivation they can get to perform. He has just started and he gets it done baby..’

With such a long and distinguished career in the UFC, where earlier this year he collected a lifetime achievement award at the 2015 Fighters Only World MMA Awards in Las Vegas, Watson didn’t have one specific memorable moment of his time there.

‘ When you have time to stand back and reflect, it’s amazing to me to see that i have worked with every major star and athlete in MMA & UFC history. That will last with me forever baby…’

Watson is back ‘rolling’ and doing what he loves most. What may be UFC’s loss is certainly Cage Fury Fighting Championship’s gain.

 

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Events

*Live Updates* UFC Winnipeg Official Results

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The UFC returns to Canada for the final Fight Night card of 2017. In the cold of Winnipeg, Manitoba, the UFC will host eleven of the originally twelve scheduled fights. Unfortunately, Tim Elliot will not fight in the north country. His scheduled opponent, Pietro Menga, a newcomer to the promotions roster, failed to make weight after taking the bout with just over a weeks notice.

An exciting main card will be capped off with a potential contender eliminator bout featuring, Robbie Lawler and Rafael Dos Anjos. The former champions (Lawler at welterweight, Dos Anjos at lightweight) both put together impressive win streaks which dispatched top contenders in their respective divisions. Elsewhere on the main card, Santiago Ponzinibbio takes on the outspoken Mike Perry.

The card begins on UFC Fight Pass at 4:30/1:30 ETPT.

UFC Winnipeg Official Results:

MAIN CARD – FOX – 8PM/5PM ETPT

  • #2 Robbie Lawler (28-11) vs. #4 Rafael Dos Anjos (27-9) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Rafael Dos Anjos def. Robbie Lawler via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45)
  • #3 Ricardo Lamas (18-5) vs. Josh Emmett (12-1) – Catchweight bout (148.5 lbs)
    • Result: Josh Emmett def. Ricardo Lamas via KO (punch) 4:33 round 1
  • #10 Santiago Ponzinibbio (25-3) vs. Mike Perry (11-1) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Santiago Ponzinibbio def. Mike Perry via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • #3 Glover Teixeira (26-6) vs. #7 Misha Cirkunov (13-3) – Light Heavyweight bout
    • Result: Glover Teixeira def. Misha Cirkunov via TKO (punches) 2:45  round 1

PRELIMINARY CARD – FS1 – 5PM/2PM ETPT

  • #14 Jared Cannonier (10-2) vs #15 Jan Blachowicz (20-7) – Light Heavyweight bout
    • Result: Jan Blachowicz def. Jared Cannonier via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Julian Marquez (6-1) vs. Darren Stewart (7-2) – Middleweight bout
    • Result: Julian Marquez def. Darren Stewart via submission (standing guillotine) 2:42 round 2
  • Chad Laprise (13-2) vs. Galore Bofando (5-2) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Chad Laprise def. Galore Bofando via TKO (punches) 4:10 round 1
  • Nordine Taleb (13-4) vs Danny Roberts (14-2) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Nordine Taleb def. Danny Roberts via KO (head kick and punch) :59 round 1
  • John Makdessi (14-6) vs Abel Trujillo (15-7) – Lightweight bout
    • Result: John Makdessi def. Abel Trujillo via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Alessio Di Chirico (10-2) vs Oluwale Bamgbose (6-3) – Middleweight bout
    • Result: Alessio Di Chirico def. Oluwale Bamgbose via KO (knee) 2:14 round 2

EARLY PRELIMINARY CARD – UFC FIGHT PASS – 4:30PM/1:30PM ETPT

  • Jordan Mein (29-12) vs. Erick Silva (19-8) – Welterweight bout
    • Result: Jordan Mein def. Erick Silva via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-26)
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Fight Announcements

Gilbert Burns vs. Olivier Aubin-Mercier Added to UFC Orlando

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The UFC has now added more bouts to the front end of their 2018 schedule. Gilbert Burns (13-2, 5-2 UFC) will face Olivier Aubin-Mercier (10-2, 6-2 UFC) in Orlando, Florida on February 24th, 2018.

Alongside a few other high-profile fight announcements, is the addition to the UFC Orlando, Florida card. The two lightweights will join Jake Collier and Marcin Prachnio, as the second fight set for the event.

It has been a while since the UFC hosted an event in the state of Florida. Last seen by the Floridians was UFC on Fox: Texeira vs. Evans, on April 16, 2016 in Tampa Bay. The card was a success, despite the cancellation of its planned main event between Tony Ferguson and Khabib Nurmagomedov. Drawing a gate of $1.05 million and 2.13 million viewers.

Gilbert Burns signed with the UFC after accumulating an undefeated record of 8-0. His first loss came in his home country of Brazil, as Rashid Magomedov defeated him via unanimous decision at UFC Fight Night: Belfort vs. Henderson 3, in November of 2015.

In his most recent bout, Burns defeated Jason Saggo by KO with five seconds remaining in the second round at UFC Fight Night: Rockhold vs. Branch.

Aubin-Mercier will come into the contest as a winner in his last three bouts. The Canadian fighter trains out of the Tristar gym, alongside legends such as Georges St. Pierre and head coach, Firas Zahabi.

In 2011, Aubin-Mercier was chosen to compete on The Ultimate Fighter: Nations. Competing in the welterweight bracket, he became a finalist by defeating both, Jake Mathews (unanimous decision) and Richard Walsh (rear naked choke). In the finale, Aubin-Mercier lost to Chad Laprise by split decision.

UFC Orlando will take place at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida on February 24th, 2018.

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Eryk Anders vs. Lyoto Machida Officially Headlines UFC Belem

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Eryk Anders vs. Lyoto Machida is officially booked to headline UFC Belem in Brazil.

Following his unanimous decision victory over Markus Perez on last weekends, UFC Fight Night: Ortega vs. Swanson, undefeated middleweight, Eryk Anders, called for the match-up with former UFC light heavyweight champion, Lyoto Machida. The UFC heard, and obliged.

First reported by The MMA Kings (@mma_kings.)

Anders holds a 2-0 undefeated record in the UFC. The Alabama native made his promotional debut against Rafael Nata in July of this year. A bout he took on short notice, replacing Alessio di Chirico whom withdrew from the fight due to a neck injury. Anders defeated Natal by knockout in the first round that night at UFC Long Island.

Prior to his indoctrination to MMA, the undefeated middleweight played for the University of Alabama football team, between 2006-2009.

Machida recently returned to the UFC roster after an 18-month suspension handed down by USADA, stemming from a failed out-of-competition test leading up to his April 2016 contest against Dan Henderson.

In his return to the octagon, Machida faced Derek Brunson in the main-event of the UFC Fight Night: Brunson vs. Machida, in Sao Paulo, Brazil. “The Dragon” lost the bout via first round KO.

UFC Belem, Brazil is scheduled for February 3rd, 2018, at the Mangueirinho Arena. The card will also feature the flyweight debut for Valentina Shevchenko as she faces Priscila Cachoeira

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