Josh Watson is not disappointed. He knows who he is and recognizes that the sand in the hourglass is running out on a martial arts career with ups and downs.
There are possibilities and possibilities, but he is at peace, especially after what happened on February 18th in Albuquerque, NM. be the icing on the cake of a satisfying adventure. But anything else Watson thinks will pale in comparison to the vindication he felt when he brought down the ex-NFLer.
“I’ve got one fight left in my body, but I’ve got a lot of fights left in my heart,” Watson said two days after the fight, his voice hoarse, presumably from the celebration that followed when he knocked out the former NFL player. hit. and UFC fighter Greg Hardy.
Watson, 40, returned to work in the Las Vegas bar industry last week, with a smile on his face and perhaps a little more notoriety from his peers. Oh, and maybe he has a broken arm. However, that is not new. Watson says he suspects he broke it in training camp. When he gets his other few injuries checked out at the doctor’s office this week, he’ll “ask about it.”
After the knockout, Watson saw his face everywhere. His name? Not so much. Many of the posts and headlines only mentioned Hardy, not Watson. But again, Watson understands.
“It’s funny because all my friends say, ‘It’s kind of funny because all I see is Greg Hardy’s ugly face and how Greg Hardy fell asleep.’ They say, ‘They should say Josh Watson put Greg Hardy to sleep,’ all the headlines,” Watson said.
Being overlooked was a big part of what made this so special for Watson. While people around BKFC were behind him, the general public was largely unaware of who he was before. That changed with a series of punches. Watson found it extra satisfying when you consider who it came up against, but the main reason may be different from the general public.
“I remember seeing Greg Hardy on UFC’s Contender Series,” said Watson. “I hated him from day 1. I remember even posting on social media, ‘I wish I was 10 years younger because I’d crush this fool.’ I hate to see him get chances from a name… He wasn’t good looking He just had the luxury of not having to work He’s an athlete I can’t take that away from him He doesn’t have to go through the same jumping hoops like everyone else.
“People who have that ‘I have to work to provide for my family’ and they’re trying to make it – those are the real fighters because they fight every day. People who come out of the NFL and have a million dollars with hundreds of thousands of dollars on the couch, have the opportunity to train every day in the best places without worrying about work and be able to recover. Those people are more annoying to me because they already have it. They try to take it away from the people who go for it to fight.”
Competitive fights have always been a part of his life for 16 years, although he admits that he has and has not engaged in it during that time. Watson says he once sold about $17,000 worth of tickets to a local show in Portland, Maine in 2011 and got some buzz. UFC matchmaker Joe Silva told him at the time to drop down to middleweight, win a fight and get a shot. But the shot never came.
Things in life got in his way, but they also gave him this opportunity. Days before getting the offer to fight Hardy, Watson dropped out of a recent job promotion when the wear and tear got too much.
“On Tuesday I stepped down from my position and I was just relieved,” said Watson. “I was like, so stress relieved. The next day I was offered this fight and I was like ‘Holy Karma’. If I was still doing what I was doing, I should have denied it because I couldn’t have trained properly. It was so, so, so weird how it turned out like this.”
The dominoes fall into play. With one fight left in the tank, Watson hopes the recent victory sets him up for a dream come true.
“I hunted to have that ‘drive off at sunset’ kind of retirement fight,” Watson said. “They have to pass the bareknuckle in Vegas or they have to have it in Massachusetts or something so I can fight here or at home in front of friends and family. Once they do and I have a fight there, I can withdraw from the sport completely, just because I’m old.”
Ex-UFC champion Luke Rockhold headlines BKFC 41 against Mike Perry
Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie