Tom Watson Talks Title-fight At BAMMA 9, Possible Shot In Strikeforce
By Bryan Levick | March 20, 2012
After the bout with Rua, Watson was scheduled to face former two-time UFC welterweight championship contender Frank Trigg and defend his BAMMA middleweight title for the third time. Unfortunately for "Kong" he was beset by a back injury that has kept him out of action for nearly a year, but that is in the past and Watson is looking forward to facing Jack Marshman in his return at BAMMA 9 March 24 at the National Indoor Arena.
Marshman may not have a big name, but the 23-year-old native of Wales is undefeated in ten career fights and will give Watson all he can handle. Fightline.com recently caught up with Watson as he prepared for this bout at Greg Jackson's gym in New Mexico. Watson discussed his injury, his time with Maximum Fighting Championships and if he sees himself fighting in the states anytime soon.
Fightline: How are you feeling both mentally and physically as you prepare for your title defense against Jack Marshman?
Tom Watson: I'm feeling really good; I've been training in the states for over four weeks, working on my wrestling at Greg Jackson's gym. I've been training with him for about five years now. Before I head back to the U.K. I'll shoot over to Texas and spar with a couple of ex-world champion boxer because that is Marshman's strength.
FL: Can you tell me about the back injury you suffered?
Watson: I had back surgery about three-and-a-half months ago and I started training about 6 weeks after the operation. I've had no real problems, I still have some nerve pain, but that's to be expected and will last another 8-9 months. Other than that I haven't had any significant pain. If my back is bothering me I just try and work around it. If I wasn't 100% I wouldn't have taken the fight. When I was scheduled to fight Trigg I couldn't even get off the floor, now I'm able to train and do all the things I couldn't do before the surgery.
FL: What can you tell me about Jack Marshman?
Watson: He's 10-0 with 9 finishes and all but one of those finishes have been by TKO. He trains at a gym by where I grew up. He is a good boxer and I think he has an underrated ground game. He just hasn't had to use it that often because his standup is so good. He is very tough as evidenced in his fight with Carl Noon. In his last fight against Lee Barnes not too many people expected it to go the distance, but he may have underestimated Barnes a bit. He's very young and has a lot to learn and is rapidly improving.
FL: Is handing him his first loss a significant motivator for you?
Watson: I am looking forward to handing him first loss. He hasn't tasted defeat yet so I know it's not going to be easy because he's going to want to keep his streak going. I would love to be the first guy to put the first loss on his record. When you look at the European middleweight scene there may be other guys more highly regarded, but he's here for a reason. I'm psyched to be in there against a guy who's unbeaten and give him his first defeat.
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