Tom ‘Kong’ Watson insists he won’t stray from his plan to entertain his fans – despite the pressure of needing a first UFC win tomorrow night.
Southampton’s 30-year-old Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) king will get his second run out for the massive UFC worldwide franchise at Wembley Arena when he takes on Stanislav Nedkov.
Watson’s entry into the UFC was long overdue but his first fight for them ended in a split decision defeat to Brad Tavares.
He could do with getting back to winning ways against Bulgarian wrestling expert Nedkov, but is adamant that he won’t change his attacking principles.
“It depends on what kind of fighter you want to be,” reckoned Watson.
“I don’t want to just win and be boring. I’ve always wanted to be an entertainer.
“Fans go to these shows and it’s an expensive day out and they don’t want to leave feeling they haven’t been entertained.
“That’s first on the checklist for me but if you don’t win then nobody cares about you.
“Pressure is something you put on yourself. I expect to win any fight.”
Watson has been training at his California base for the contest.
He is known as one of the most feared strikers in the MMA game, meaning few opponents want to stand and trade blows with him.
There is every chance that Nedkov will also dodge taking on Watson at his own game, despite possessing some knockout power himself, and so Watson has been preparing for a wrestling contest if needed.
“I did all my camp in California this time. That was six-seven weeks out there and there was a lot of training and working with a lot of tough wrestlers similar to what I’m going to be up against,” he reported.
“Nedkov’s original background was wrestling. That’s a strength of his.
“I want to impose my style but most of my career has been against people who want to wrestle – not too many guys want to come and strike with me, so it’s not too different to what I’ve been faced with.”
Watson is focussed on winning tomorrow, but has a few plans for after the contest when he returns to Southampton.
“It’s a bit colder than I was hopping,” said Watson of his return to England. “It hasn’t rained too much but it has been pretty windy – I don’t think you notice the weather as much until you come back.
“I will come back to Southampton for a couple of weeks.
“I am hoping to get to St Mary’s and hopefully see another result like the one against Manchester City, which was on the day I landed.
“When they got rid of Nigel Adkins I didn’t agree with it, but as long as they stay up I don’t think anyone will complain too much.”
Tickets are available at ufc.com