It was almost guaranteed that without getting a W in the column over Chris Camozzi, British fighter Tom “Kong” Watson would be released from the UFC. And unfortunately for the Brit, a unanimous decision loss helped with the company’s decision to put him on the most recent list of fighters they had cut from their ever expanding roster.
In seven appearances for the promotion Watson went 2-5 with his highlight being a TKO win over Stanislav Nedkov at the 02 arena in London. With his recent release now being formerly announced by the promotion the good folks here at #WHOATV have looked across the European Middleweight landscape and came up with five compelling fights to welcome Tom Watson back to Europe.
An intriguing rematch to welcome Tom back to the European scene and one in which I think holds some value to both fighters. I personally think that Marshman was too young to the sport when the first fight took place back at BAMMA 9 in March 2012. I think that if you asked Marshman, on reflection he would also agree to that. That said it was a cracking bout and both guys have come on leaps and bounds since. They have both also had some ups and downs to deal with and I think now would be a great time to bring them together. The rematch would be an easy sell for promoters and both guys usually attract a large crowd following and there would be an element of intrigue as to how Watson would bounce back following his release from the UFC.
I would love to see this one play out and with both fighters being released from the UFC recently would certainly generate a big following if this one was matched up. I know that Barnatt has signed recently for the Italian promotion, Venator but with the promotion looking to increase their fan base across Europe why not bring in Watson. Prior to these guys going to the UFC I always envisaged these two locking horns at some stage but was not so sure when they made their UFC debuts. But now with both men looking to rebuild and ultimately get back onto the UFC’s radar a bout between both would be a great stepping stone for the winner.
The current BAMMA Middleweight Champion has made a storm in the Middleweight division since making his debut at BAMMA 18, knocking out Irelands Chris Fields and then stopping Andy DeVent to take the title. As a Brit and former BAMMA Middleweight Champion, Tom Watson would be the ideal candidate for a Title shot should he come back to BAMMA, the promotion which he spent a large part of his career at. Kone would prove a real challenge to Watson and would definitely play into Watson’s style of fighting. I don’t think there would be any gripes with Watson coming back to BAMMA and straight into Title contention and with Kone storming through the 185lbs division the fight would offer him a well deserved big name opponent.
Maguire has always had a big cut to Welterweight and I think that given his time out of the cage, he would certainly be interested in either a middleweight bout or a catch weight bout if the opponent was right. These two also have history having fought at the first ever BAMMA show in June 2009, with Watson coming out the winner. Both have since had stints in the UFC and whilst Maguire has been inactive since losing two on the bounce at Cage Warriors, “The One” is due to make a return to the cage for BCMMA. An interesting proposition for both guys, where a win would really give them the resurgence they are looking for at this stage in their respective careers.
Hermansson is arguably the best unsigned European Middleweight outside of the UFC right now and would be a huge test for Watson. Current Cage Warriors Middleweight Champion, Hermansson destroyed Karlos Vemola at WFS4 in August and is on the hunt for equally matched Middleweight fighters which is why a fight with Watson would be great for both of them now. Many think that Hermansson will break into the UFC and what better way than with a win over a former UFC fighter? Likewise for Watson it would provide him with the opportunity to prove that he can still hang with the best fighters in Europe and put him back on the right path .