Fighter to Watch

MMA Fans Need to Keep an Eye on this Rising Middleweight

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In the constantly evolving mixed martial arts (MMA) world, rising talents are always on the horizon. Among these emerging stars is Reese Watkins, an up-and-coming middleweight fighter making waves in the MMA community. In a recent interview on the Couch Warrior Podcast, Reese shared his journey, experiences, and aspirations in the competitive world of MMA.

The Rise of Reese Watkins

Reese began his martial arts journey with jiu-jitsu, accompanying his uncle to a jiu-jitsu school in Atlanta. His training later shifted to a different gym in Atlanta, where he met coach Bruno Frazatto, who saw potential in Reese for MMA.

“Bruno asked me if I ever thought about MMA. He said, ‘I think you’d be good at it.’ So, I started doing Muay Thai and boxing and took my first Muay Thai fight when I was 17,” Reese recalled.

Under the guidance of Frazatto and inspired by fighters like Davi Ramos and Wilson Reis, Reese ventured into Muay Thai and boxing. At 17, he took on his first Muay Thai fight, marking the beginning of his MMA journey. Reese’s early professional career was not without its challenges. His first amateur fight at 18 was a unique experience, balancing the demands of high school with the rigorous training and physicality of MMA.

“It was an interesting experience because I was still in high school. You go fight on the weekend, then you have homework,” Reese said.

Despite these challenges, Reese demonstrated resilience and determination, facing grown men in the cage since his teenage years.

Transition to Full-Time Training and Professional Success

With a strong passion for the sport, Reese has transitioned to full-time training, dedicating himself to the craft for four to five hours a day. This transition has proven to pay off, as the 22-year-old from Atlanta, Georgia, has accumulated a perfect 3-0 professional record. 

His commitment to the sport is evident in his active fighting schedule, with two upcoming fights lined up in the NFC promotion. Reese’s next bout is scheduled for April 20th against Josh Mercado, followed by another fight on June 21st, where he will headline the card.

Aspirations for the Future: UFC Contender Series and Beyond

Looking forward, Reese has ambitious goals for his MMA career. His immediate aim is to catch the attention of the UFC’s Contender Series, hoping to showcase his skills and potential on the big stage. Considering his active fighting style and penchant for finishes, Reese stands a strong chance of receiving that coveted call-up.

“The Contender Series starts in August, so hopefully I can apply or get the call. They might like my body of work and give me an opportunity. Or if not, ONE championship is coming to Atlanta in November. So, that would be a cool opportunity to fight on a big promotion like that in my home city,” Reese explained.

When asked about his dream opponent in the UFC, Reese remains grounded and focused on his upcoming fights. He credits his current success to his unwavering focus and dedication to his training, avoiding distractions and keeping his eyes on the prize.

In conclusion, Reese Watkins is undeniably a name to watch in the middleweight division of MMA. With his relentless work ethic, resilience, and unwavering determination, Reese is on track to succeed in his MMA career. As he continues to climb the ranks and showcase his skills, MMA fans can expect to see more of this rising star shortly.

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Michael Kachan is a life long MMA fan and has been analyzing and breaking down fights for over four years. He is the host of the Couch Warrior Podcast where he provides weekly MMA breakdowns as well as fighter interviews and more.

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