Walel "The Gazelle" Watson is an American Mixed Martial Artist. Watson who is a middle child (1 younger brother and 2 older half brothers) was born in El Paso, Texas, July 16, 1984. Watson currently fights out of San Diego, California, and this 5'11 inch, 135 pounder fights in the UFC's bantamweight division(135lbs). Watson is poised to be a force in the UFC and is a fast rising prospect.
Before we get into Watson's mixed martial arts career we are going to give you an inside look into his life and what got him into the world's biggest MMA promotion. The UFC.
This is: A Warriors Journey: A Fighter Profile: UFC Fighter Walel Watson "Every fight, is the next biggest fight of my life"
Growing up Walel Watson lived the typical American kid life. To keep him out of trouble, his free time limited and since he was from a small town his parents put him in many sports. Walel took a special liking to American football when his first special sports moment happened. In a Pop Warner football game, he was back as a punt returner. The kick came directly to him and Watson returned it for an 84 yard punt return touchdown. At that very moment he had dreams and aspirations to become a professional football player.
As Watson grew older he took a liking to another sport. That liking was to Mixed Martial Arts. When he was younger he always watched videos of MMA. Back then the two gyms around him were the Lions Den and Vitor Belfort's Left Cross. With not too many outlets at the time, Watson stuck to his other sports. He kept MMA in his heart though.
With encouragement by his friend Robert, Watson decided to try MMA. Since that time he has never stopped training. One day he had a friend named Landon Piercy who said to him in practice with the constant running before and after practice and angles you take, its like you are a gazelle. That is how the Gazelle nickname came about for Walel.
With no wrestling or Jiu Jitsu base, Watson is the new breed or new generation of Mixed Martial Artist. Walking around between 153 lbs and 155 lbs Watson is a very large bantamweight. Watson stated that because of Bill Crawford; his nutritionist, and strength and conditioning coach the weight cut to 135lbs is very easy. Being 5 ft 11 gives Watson tremendous advantages in the cage. It allows him to not only move from one side of the cage to another very quickly, but also allows him to avoid strikes. Watson said, "My height advantage plays a part in my submission game because smaller fighters think they can rush in. By doing this it leaves limbs open, like their neck". Being taller than his competition does have its disadvantages as well. If his opponents are able to get on the inside of him they are able to latch on to his longer limbs and potentially take him down.
August 16, 2008 is a day that changed Watson's life forever. It was the day he made his professional Mixed Martial Arts debut. Watson appearing and fighting on MMA Xtreme 22 - Revolution card in Mexico lost his first pro fight. Like they say sometimes you learn more from a loss than a win. Watson did just that. He found his new passion and calling in life. This coming from the kid who dreamed of NFL glory when he returned that punt in Pop Warner football for an 84 yard score. Watson was hooked on MMA.
In our conversation with Watson we here at MMACAGECHATTER asked him what separates the regional MMA scene from the UFC. He said "In the regional scene, guys are missing one or two key components to their game. To be a world class fighter, you can not be missing anything or be dependent on one art. In the UFC, none of the guys on the roster are missing anything. Anybody can beat anybody."
Watson went on to describe the moment when he received the call from the UFC to fight on one of their cards. He said, "It was a surreal moment. It was hard for me to keep my composure, and keep quite, until it was officially announced." When Watson got that initial call he had no management, and his coaches handled everything for him.
During the course of our conversation we talked about his debut UFC fight. The fight took place in our nation's capital Washington, DC on the UFC LIVE: Cruz vs Johnson card 10/01/11. Watson said it was an amazing feeling to have his first fight in our nation's capital. Going into the fight he described that his coaches at San Diego Combat Academy had prepped him well enough that no situation would have made him feel uncomfortable. His opponent was a very tough Joseph Sandoval. The outcome of the bout could not of gone any better for Watson. He expected a war with Sandoval, but the 77 second TKO victory Watson got was unexpected.
With Watson making huge impressions on the ZUFFA/UFC brass he was quickly booked for another bout against Yves Jabouin. This bout would occur December 10, 2011 at UFC 140 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and also was scheduled to be seen on free cable TV. He stated that UFC 140 was a lot smoother of a process. He knew what to expect from a training point of view, pre-fight commitments, media commitments and the fans. Watson stated he is always nervous going into fights, and every fight is the next biggest fight of his life. Playing all the sports he did when he was younger made him not worry about fighting on national television. Although Watson came out on the short end of a split decision, he learned some valuable lessons that he can and will control from here on out. The first being never leave a fight in the hands of the judges. The second just letting his hands fly. Then lastly, not to be so choosy on his strikes and do not analyze it too much. Watson went on to say he had no idea what the judges were thinking or looking for in his UFC 140 bout. MMACAGECHATTER was in attendance at UFC 140 and we seem to agree with Watson's sentiments. He did however, provide an entertaining bout that we think he won.
Watson's next bout is February 15, 2012 against Team Alpha Males standout wrestler TJ Dillashaw on UFC on FUEL TV: Sanchez vs Ellenberger card. His bout is the first bout on Fuel TV. Watson said he got the call to fight Dillashaw and did not think twice before accepting the bout. His response was HELL YEAH! Watson also mentioned he does not pick and choose who he fights. Whoever the UFC wants him to fight is who he goes to war with. When we did the interview with Walel the bout with Dillashaw was just made and that day he was starting training camp for it. When we asked him his initial thoughts on Dillashaw, he stated he knows he is a high level wrestler, has a good camp he trains with and is a lot smaller than him.
We wrapped up our interview with Walel asking him if he gets recognised more since his two UFC bouts. He said, "It shocks me that people recognise me and I am just trying to make it in the world and I do not see myself as anything special." He also said he is the low guy on the totem pole and does not deserve the recognition he is getting.
We asked Walel what does a day in his life consist of. He said he wakes up, eats, coaches at San Diego Combat Academy for 2-3 hours, has a break, then trains Monday through Saturday. He stated he loves to coach and that coaching is very rewarding.
Walel "The Gazelle" Watson would like to thank San Diego Combat Academy , his coaches Manolo Hernadez, Bill Crawford, Tiger Smalls and Landon Piercy. Walel would also like to thank his UFC on FUEL TV 1 sponsors Booster, Lexani, and Training Mask. If you want to learn more about Walel or follow his career you can find him on Facebook here or on Twitter @135Gazelle.
We here at MMACAGECHATTER.com would like to thank Walel and his management for granting the interview. Walel is a fast rising UFC bantamweight prospect. His future is very bright. His very humble attitude is infectious. Please continue to follow Walel's career and support his sponsors because they support him. Be sure to tune in to Walel's fight against TJ Dillashaw this Wednesday night February 15th, 2012 on FUEL TV beginning at 8pm. Walel will be the first fight of the night.
Keep checking MMACAGECHATTER.COM for exclusive interviews with some of MMA's most unique and interesting people including legendary MMA coach Gil Martinez, Bellator Ring Card Girl, Playboy model, volunteer and all around amazing woman Jade Bryce, UFC Flyweight tournament and #3 bantamweight fighter in the world Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson and UFC ring card girl, model and artist Brittney Palmer.
Do you not have enough time to go to the gym 4-5 times a week to get the 20-30 pounds you want off yourself? Or is it that you want to slim down to get out of the elastic waist band pants that you have been wearing since you moved out of your parents house? If you want to do that or for any other reason then Advocare's 24 day challenge is for you
Then take the 24-day challenge! This bundle features everything you need to get you going toward your next goal.*
Each 24-Day Challenge includes:
- One box of Herbal Cleanse-Citrus
- One bottle of OmegaPlex®
- One box of AdvoCare Spark®-Mandarin Orange
- One box of AdvoCare Spark®-Fruit Punch
- Your choice of one box of Meal Replacement Shakes - Chocolate, Vanilla, or Berry
- Your choice of one box of MNS® Max 3, C, or E
Days 1-10 Cleanse Phase
The first ten days are about cleansing your body of toxins and preparing for optimal nutrient absorption, and you may enjoy weight loss as well!*
- Herbal Cleanse-Citrus: helps to cleanse and detoxify your body.*
- OmegaPlex®: essential fatty acids for increased overall wellness.*
- AdvoCare Spark®: nutritionally-advanced energy*
Give your body the best tools you need to achieve your next weight management goal during days 11-24!*
- Metabolic Nutrition System (MNS®): Your choice of Max C+ (appetite control), Max E+ (energy), or Max 3 - for weight management, appetite control and overall wellness.*
- Meal Replacement Shake - your choice of chocolate, vanilla, or berry: Complete nutrition in a great-tasting shake!
- AdvoCare Spark®: nutritionally advanced energy*
TO KICK OFF YOUR WEIGHT LOSS GOALS FOLLOW THE LINK TO ORDER AND IN 24 DAYS YOU WILL SEE A HUGE AND NOTICABLE WEIGHT LOSS ADVOCARE 24 DAY CHALLENGE