While most MMA fans who tune in to Titan FC 28 will have their eyes on the main card, Walel Watson has a promise for those thinking of skipping out on the preliminary portion of the lineup.

“Nothing but excitement,” Watson promised when speaking to The MMA Corner.

Watson, a former UFC fighter, will make his Titan FC debut and hopes to rebound from a recent two-fight losing skid. Watson recently dropped a decision to Rodrigo Almeida and lost a bid for the Cage featherweight championship last September to Tom Niinimaki, one of Europe’s top featherweight prospects.

“I know what I’ve done wrong and I just have to correct it,” Watson said. “No more decisions for me. I don’t want to let the judges decide anything.”

That seems to be a goal Watson has had throughout his career. All of his wins have come before the final bell, and Watson will be hoping to add William Joplin’s name to his list of conquered opponents. It won’t be an easy task for “The Gazelle,” though. Joplin is a 17-fight veteran enjoying a seven-fight winning streak.

“I don’t pay attention to records,” Watson admitted. “I know he’s going to be riding high, but I’m ready to go. I’ve been in the game for a while; he’s not going to show me anything I haven’t seen yet.”

Competing professionally since 2008, Watson entered the UFC’s ranks in 2011. He won his UFC debut, but faced stiff competition in the form of Yves Jabouin and T.J. Dillashaw in his next two outings. A loss to Mitch Gagnon sent Watson back to the regional scene.

Where most men would consider stepping away from the cage, Watson has instead used it as a launching pad for improvement in his overall game.

“My striking is really crisp now,” Watson said. “My wrestling is going to surprise a lot of people, and I’ve been focusing a lot on my jiu-jitsu game lately. I’m still a work in progress and not where I want to be, but I’m much better than what I used to be.”

Indeed, Watson has matured as a fighter, now realizing that going without food for days isn’t in the best interest of his MMA career. His maturation as a fighter has led Watson into a leadership role. He’s now an instructor at 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu.

“When it’s all said and done and my body won’t let me go on, I want to feed my knowledge to future generations,” Watson said.

Watson currently learns from one of the best jiu-jitsu practitioners (controversy aside) today in Eddie Bravo. He also trains with Team Hurricane Awesome, home to Liz Carmouche, among others.

Yet, that full-time coaching gig will have to wait.

“I’m just worried about my next fight,” Watson said. “You start worrying about other stuff and things just go haywire. I’m just focused on May 16 and Joplin, 110 percent.”

Watson would like to thank everyone at Team Hurricane Awesome, 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu, Bill Crawford, Tiger Smalls, Victor Martinez, Eddie Bravo, Manolo Hernandez and anyone else who has helped him along the way. Follow Walel on Twitter: @WaleltheGazelle

About The Author

Kyle Symes
Staff Writer

Kyle is a recent graduate of Aurora University, where he obtained a Bachelor's in Communications. Kyle resides in Illinois, just outside of Chicago. He played baseball and football in both high school and college, but is now focusing on an amateur MMA career.