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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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Exclusive: Derek Brunson: “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up”

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Derek Brunson fought Anderson Silva back in February of this year, at UFC 208. Brunson would go on to lose the fight by controversial unanimous decision. However, the controversies didn’t stop at the questionable decision, Brunson also claims Silva was greasing during the fight. The Wilmington, North Carolina native, posted about it on Twitter a few days ago:

Speaking with MMA Latest, Brunson explained why he believes Silva was greasing during the fight. “Anderson was definitely a little lubed up. Every time I grabbed him he was just slipping out of everything, and his takedown defense was really good that night. I was definitely curious to know why he was very slippery, which I definitely think he had some kind of substance on his body. He knows I’m a wrestler obviously, he’s an old, savvy veteran, so he was definitely trying to play all the rules and be very strategic, and make it harder for a wrestler to grab him.”

Brunson is set to face Lyoto Machida come October 28, when asked about whether he was worried about Machida greasing, considering Gegard Mousasi accused him of doing so in their fight, Brunson admitted he wasn’t too worried.

Well I’m not too worried, but like I said, I put it out there because I know they’re friends and I know, obviously, that’s kind of what the guys do when they know they’re fighting a wrestler. They want to lube their body up really good to make it hard to grab hold, Anderson did a great job defending my takedowns. It’s because he was all greased up so he was able to stop a lot of them. When I grab guys in the clinch, it’s very tough for them to get away and I’m pretty good with my Greco takedown. He was pretty much pulling through my clinch when I had a tight grip on him and if you have some kind of substance on your body it’s easy to pull them.”

Neither Silva nor his management have commented on the greasing allegations. Anderson Silva makes his return against Kelvin Gastelum later this year, in China. While Brunson makes his return to the Octagon on October 28th, in Brazil, where he looks to add Lyoto Machida’s name to his impressive list of victories.

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Ovince Saint Preux Steps in to Face Corey Anderson at UFC 217

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UFC 217 just got even more interesting. Earlier this week, Patrick Cummins pulled out of his light heavyweight matchup with Corey Anderson due to a Staph infection. Corey “Overtime” Anderson was not happy with his opponents decision, even calling out his opponent on Instagram asking how Cummins could, “call it quits so far from fight night”.

The UFC left Anderson on the card, and he found an opponent through the magic of Twitter. Ovince Saint Preux tweeted out directly to Anderson stating:

It didn’t take long for Anderson to respond agreeing to the fight, tagging Mick Maynard and Dana White in his response.

Only a few short hours later, the fight announcement came from the official UFC twitter account.

 

This top 10 Light Heavyweight matchup should add to an already amazing card coming in November at Madison Square Garden. Saint Preux is coming off of back to back wins both due to the very rare von flue choke, he finds himself ranked #7th in the latest edition of the 205-pound rankings. Corey “Overtime” Anderson is 4-2 in his last 6 fights, but is coming off a brutal first round knockout loss to Jimi Manuwa in March.

With such a exciting fight added to this card, what do you see happening November 4th?  Will Corey Anderson bounce back and look to jump into the top 5 of the rankings, or will Ovince Saint Preux go for a third straight von flue choke? Let us know.

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*Watch* Bellator 185 Weigh in: Live Stream, Results

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Watch the live weigh-ins for Bellator 185 here.

Gegard Mousasi takes on Alexander Slemenko live this Friday night October 20th at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville CT. This is the first appearance for Mousasi in the Bellator cage as he looks to secure a title shot with a win over the very tough former Bellator champion Slemenko. Joining these men of the main card will be a pair of welterweights as Neiman Gracie from the famous Gracie BJJ family takes on Zak Bucia in the co-main event.

Full Weigh-in Results: (Updated in real time)

Main Card:

Gegard Mousasi (185) vs. Alexander Shlemenko (186)
Neiman Gracie (170.5) vs. Zak Bucia (170)
Heather Hardy (126) vs. Kristina Williams (126)
Ryan Quinn (155.5) vs. Marcus Surin (155)
Ana Julaton (125.5) vs. Lisa Blaine (122)

Preliminary Card:

Jordan Young (200) vs. Alec Hooben (194)
Costello van Steenis (185) vs. Steve Skrzat (186)
Vinicius de Jesus (170) vs. Joaquin Buckley (171)
John Beneduce (154.5) vs. Dean Hancock (155)
Timothy Wheeler (144) vs. Pete Rogers (144)
Don Shainis (150) vs. Matthew Denning (149)
Frank Sforza (149) vs. Vovka Clay (150)
Kevin Carrier (156) vs. Jose Antonio Perez (153)
John Lopez (126) vs. Billy Giovanella (125)

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