For those of who who aren’t familiar with Tom “Kong” Watson, refer to UFC on FuelTV: Barao vs McDonald. Watson fought a tough Bulgarian named Stanislav Nedkov. It was a back and forth affair, with Watson beating up Nedkov in the first round, pinning him against the cage and landing hooks, elbows, and firm knees to the body. Nedkov was beaten badly, but not defeated. Nedkov muscled a takedown near the end of the first round, and managed some brutal punches from the top that had Watson dazed. Nedkov stayed on top of him unleashing a barrage of punches that had Watson flailing his arms around, barely defending himself at all. He stayed moving though, and was saved by the bell just in time. Early in the second round, Nedkov landed a huge right hook in an exchange that had Watson backpeddling in a hurry. Watson somehow survived and landed a few hooks of his own, showing that he was still dangerous. It was a dogfight, and Watson landed a knee from the clinch that put Nedkov on his ass. A few punches finished the job, and Watson won the knockout of the night bonus for his performance. This isn’t Watson’s first post fight bonus. In fact, half of his victories came by way of KO/TKO. He proclaims himself to be “the most exciting fighter in mma.” That may be a little bit of an exaggeration, (maybe a lot) but you have to admire his efforts.
Watson most recently fought Thales Leites at UFC 163 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Leites showed his grappling superiority in the fight by controlling Watson on the ground for the duration of the fight. It wasn’t a flashy victory from Leites, but it is what we expected in a way. Watson didn’t really have a chance to show his best side on that fight (other than his resilience) and so we are left wondering what Watson actually has to offer. So far, he has an unimpressive 1-2 record in the UFC. This brings me to my next point.
Allow me to toot my own horn for a second here. I wrote a prediction article about Watson’s fight against Leites before UFC 163, and in the end of the article I explained the reasoning behind the matchup. I decided that The UFC put together this matchup for a rather obvious reason – it was a mismatch that was catered to the Brazilian fans, and it was an easy win for Leites that would make for a successful return. I also decided that the UFC would conveniently overlook Watson’s loss and schedule him for the next card being hosted in Watson’s native country of England. They’ll give him a nice soft matchup that he can win at home just like they did for Leites. Enter Alessio Sakara.
The UFC just recently made the Watson/Sakara bout official. Sakara is the UFC’s regular sacrificial lamb. He has a UFC record of 6-7-1. Four of his losses in the UFC are via KO/TKO. No one knows for sure why the UFC keeps Sakara around, but my theory is that his purpose is very similar to those “see how hard you can punch” machines that they have in bars. Drew McFedries holds the current record, he was able to register a staggering 978 score on this test. Watson will have his turn now, and he will have the chance to beat that score on October 26th is his native country of England. The question is not if he will knock Sakara out, but when and how. My call is round 2, and via headkick.
Tom Watson, in the octagon, with the headkick. (clue the board game reference)